Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak through them;
Take our minds and think through them; Take our
hearts and set them on fire with love for You, Lord
Four years ago I landed in the emergency room. I had
chest pains, labored breathing. I thought I was
having a heart attack. This was the culmination of
months of stress working 14 hour days trying to pull
together a project that was out of control. I was
being pressured by an unsupportive manager and
receiving no help, everything seemed to be falling
apart, and it all became too much... As it turns out
it wasn't a heart attack thank god, it was a panic
attack. I was under too much stress.
Rewind 6 months. When I was in London working, I was
assigned a very large project. It was so large that
I knew I needed a team to make the project
successful. I wasn't provided that support and it
cost me my personal life, working 14-15 hour
workdays for months at a time. It cost me my health,
I ended up in the emergency room with a panic
attack. Ultimately it cost me my Job at GE, because
no job is worth your health or spending time with
the people you love. When faced with a monumental
task, no amount of sheer will and time could have
made that project successful, because I was working
So I left the company, regrouped, left London and
came back home, and took 8 months but I was finally
ready to return to work. So I interviewed and got a
new job at Morgan Stanley.
I was working there for just shy of a year, when
another, very large scale project came up, and with
my manager being on maternity leave; the management
team asked me to lead the project. I was given a
team, of 5 people and was part of the larger project
team with support all around the business. Even
though I worked hard, the fact that I was working
with a strong team, not only helped to make that
project a smashing success. But it singlehandedly
put me on a path to promotion later that year. The
difference was that I had the support of a good
A team is capable of accomplishing things that no
individual, no matter how multi-talented, could do
alone. Letís take a little quiz. Donít worry, there
is only one question: If two horses can pull 9,000
pounds, how many pounds can four horses pull?
Hereís a hint: itís not 9,000 pounds. In fact, itís
not 18,000 pounds. Believe it or not, four horses
can pull more than 30,000 pounds! If that doesnít
compute, itís because we donít understand the
concept of synergy.
Synergy is the energy or force that is generated
through the working together of various parts or
processes. Synergism can be defined as the
interaction of elements that, when combined, produce
an effect that is greater than the sum of the
individual parts. Synergy is a joint action that
increases the effectiveness of each member of a
team. To function well, a team must be committed to
a common vision and purpose, and it must be willing
to work in unity for the improvement of the whole
rather than the advancement of any one member.
Despite Proverbs stating the ant isnít a strong
creature, it is able to lift 20-50 times greater
than their own weight all done with their mouth
muscles. If a 175 lb. man could lift this weight
with his mouth it would be nearly 8800 lbs. Alone,
an ant could accomplish very little, but multiply
their efforts by millions; you have a true force to
be reckoned with. And, if the weight of all the ants
in the world were combined, their weight would be
greater than the weight of all the humans.
As Presbyterians, there are few things we enjoy more
than forming committees. Well maybe eating, but
forming committees is a close second. We recognize
the value of teamwork to accomplish great things. We
are a church built of teams. Committees like
Mission, the recently re-energized Outreach, and the
work of Music & Worship during this transition. Not
to mention the transition team, and the Interim PNC,
the trustees, the deacons, Session, the Choir... I
could go on.
Together, this congregation is a team, stronger than
any one of us alone.
The question becomes, who do you need on your team?
The first answer should be immediate, definite,
without hesitation. God.
With God on our side and on our team. We can achieve
anything. God is better than the big kid with the
heavy foot you select on your kickball team. God is
better than that salesperson you go to when you need
that sale, God is dependable, always available,
never on vacation, and ready to work whenever you
How do you get God on your team? I think there is a
The first step to get God on your team? Is to ask
through prayer. You pray for God to support you. You
ask for God's Grace, and for God to give you
strength, and to help lead you down the right path.
This might be tough for many people. Do you know
anyone in your lives that have trouble asking for
help? I am one of them, it is difficult for me to
ask for help sometimes whether be it pride, or
embarrassment, sometimes you think you can go at it
alone. But then I think of Jesus, and his team.
I mean this is the Son of God, and even he asked his
father for guidance, and had a team of people to
help him spread his message. He built one of the
first dream teams and he started by praying all
night for strength and guidance before building his
team. It says in Luke, ďOne of those days Jesus
went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the
night praying to God. When morning came, he called
his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom
he also designated apostlesĒ (Luke 6:12-13)
Jesus knew that this was the team that would be with
him for the rest of his ministry. He would still
teach the crowds, but in private sessions we learn
that he began to teach his plans and his character
into these 12 men. Even in the midst of his greatest
popularity, Jesus realized that the way to turn the
world upside-down is to invest heavily in a few.
Jesus formed the most important team ever assembled.
This team was developed to continue his work on
earth (Acts 1:8-9). Luke recorded the continuing
story of the apostles in the book of Acts. The
church they led exploded out of Jerusalem, around
the world and across nearly 2,000 years of history.
Nearly 2,000 years later, we are here to attest to
that fact that it worked. Eleven of these 12 men
became the foundation of the church, built on the
cornerstone of Christ. Iíll say that is a pretty
good example of good teamwork
The second step to getting God on your team is more
We have all been told time and time again that God
has the ability and wants to help us. But God does
not deny us free will. We must look to God and be
willing to accept God's help; you have to accept God
in your heart. That step is the tricky one. God's
love is given to us in baptism, accepted by us in
confirmation, maintained and strengthens by
worshiping God, Thanking God, and Confessing to God.
Certainly being part of this team, our congregation
helps, coming to church and worshiping in communion
with each other is a great way to ask, accept and
receive God's help, and if we do this God will be on
our team and see us through any challenge.
There are many keys to working together towards a
common goal. One that I know is so important is
Communication must be open, honest and respectful.
That means listening as well, just as we have to
keep our hearts open to listen to God, we have to
have a our ears open to listen to each other. It is
important that our teams make decisions together.
Open communication means that everyone is kept in
the loop, and knows what's going on.
There are many others but I don't want to bore you
anymore than I already have...to me communication is
In the spirit of communication ill give a brief
update on the interim pastor nominating committee.
We have met a few times and have completed our
mission information form or MIF, which describes the
mission of our church. The MIF must be approved by
presbyterys' committee on ministry, before we can
move onto the next step of searching and
interviewing potential candidates they next meet on
November 14th. In the meantime we keep
doing what we have been, and keep the church going.
If you have any questions about the process, please
feel free to contact me.
Ok so we acknowledge that we need help, that we can
accomplish more with a team than we can do alone. We
ask God to be on our team by praying, and accepting
Gods help. What's next? We trust in the guidance
that God provides us, and we continue to move
What it means for our Church is we continue the work
that we are doing. With the transition team that
means making sure that the church is running
smoothly, while we search for interim leadership.
For Music and Worship, it is making sure that we
have speakers here on Sundays, and that Charlotte is
still able to plan her music programs . For
Outreach, it, means continue to plan fellowship
events and keep this church together. For Christian
education it means continue our programming for our
young ones, and support our confirmation class. For
our IPNC it means keep moving forward on our search
for interim leadership.
This church lives and breathes not because of a
single person, but because we function as a team and
accomplish these things together. There is strength
in this church that I have not seen in some time,
there is vibe here that we can carry out the mission
of the church in this time of transition, and we are
doing this together as a team. And you know what? We
are having a good time doing it. We are spending
time in fellowship with each other again; we are
bringing groups of people together to discuss
outreach. In a way this church is healing, notice I
didn't say healed, I said healing, we are still a
church healing from a change that is still fresh,
but we are healing together as a team. It isn't
always easy, we have had to lean on certain people
in this church more than we have had to in the past,
and thank God for their leadership, but we are
living the mission of this church one, Fellowship
Dinner, one paint stroke, one children's message,
and one Sunday Supper at a time. And I have never
been more proud to be part of this team.
So Thanks be to God, and Thanks be to our team.