Below is my most recent newsletter column for the congregation I serve, the Clintonville Christian Church in Kentucky.
Essential for the Adventure: Teamwork
My good friend and college roommate, Jed, and I recently competed in Asbury College’s annual adventure race. The race is so named because it consists of 3 miles of running, 5 miles of mountain biking, 2 miles of canoeing, two high ropes climbing events, and one low ropes balance and agility event. The race is structured for two person teams and both teammates must complete all the events. Everything is outdoors and it is nonstop – nonstop, that is, until you finish the race or the race finishes you. (Yes, comedians, we finished the race!)
In such a race, it does not take long to realize how important teamwork is. Of course, teamwork is unavoidable for the canoeing and ropes events: it is against the rules (as well as physically impossible) to complete the ropes events without your teammate and you would have a hard time completing the canoeing (in sixteen foot, two person canoes) without a teammate. But even beyond those events, teamwork is vital to doing well in the race.
Why is teamwork so vital, you ask, in what seems like mainly individual events? Well, thanks for asking. You see, when you work as a team you can challenge each other to push harder. When you work as a team you can encourage each other to keep going. When you work as a team you know that there is someone else there to excel or at least endure the race with you.
One key to effective teamwork is knowing each other’s strengths. At some points in the race, I challenged or encouraged Jed; at other points, he challenged or encouraged me. A second key is realizing that every member of the team is important.
It’s the same for us at Clintonville Christian. Teamwork is essential. It provides healthy challenge and healthy encouragement. Clintonville Christian is a great team when we blend our God-given talents, gifts and graces in service and ministry.
See you at the place where all team members are important, and new ones want to be asked to join the team — Nathan