Why do our units have patrols of boys? The patrol is a team made up of individuals – each with their own skills and abilities. Some may be better with knots while others are interested in nature or first aid.
By combining the talents and perspectives of different people into a small group, more can be accomplished together than by each person trying to do everything for themselves and by themselves. However, patrols work best when there’s agreement over a shared goal, good communication and leadership (a communicated plan to get stuff done).
In the Bible we see references to getting along with other people, working together, etc. Let’s take a closer look at a few examples.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) – “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
- What do you think it means when it says “don’t be selfish” and “don’t try to impress others”? Why would that be important to teamwork?
- Are you familiar with the word “humble” and how it helps us be part of a team?
- Do you think that being humble means going along with the opinions of others even if you disagree? Why/Why not? Is it possible to stand up for what you think is right and still be humble?
- By getting rid of selfishness do you think it also means we should learn to trust our teammates?
- As the leader of your patrol, do you have any special thoughts on how this verse might apply to you?
Selfishness means we focus on our own needs before worrying about anyone else. This takes a team and breaks it into individuals – each one doing their own thing for themselves – and that loses all the power of a team to get big things done quickly and efficiently.
So if we were on a camping trip, but it was starting to rain we could:
- Individually try to build a shelter, or hang a tarp from trees but we’d be bumping into each other and trying to do things without a plan, OR
- As a group, come together, get the right people working on the problem (those good with knots handle that, others select the best location for the shelter, and others work on finding logs to sit on while we wait for the rain to pass, etc.)
Another set of verses is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT) – “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Teamwork doesn’t depend on large numbers of people, does it? Would you say it’s more important to work together cooperatively than just to have many people on the team?
- What happens when we try to do things on our own and they don’t go as we had planned? Who picks us up?
- Are we ever really alone, or can we ask God for help, too? (Jeremiah 17:5 says “This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” And Philippians 4:13 (NLT) “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”)
Being on a team means encouraging your team to do their best. Think about your favorite sports teams – do you cheer for them when they do well? Do you also comfort your family members when they’re feeling sad, too? That’s being loyal to your team – helping, caring and supporting. Here are some verses on that topic:
- Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) – Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) – So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
- Romans 12:8 (NLT) – If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
- 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT) – Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
- Romans 12:16 (NLT) – Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
While there’s much more about teamwork in the Bible, I wanted to summarize these thoughts:
- being part of a team means we can do more together than individually
- as members of the team we should be humble – not being proud or being a “know it all” – sharing what we are good at doing with the others for their benefit (and teaching them to be better at these skills, too)
- as teammates, we should encourage each other to do our best, be our best and have joy in our hearts.
Walk Worthy, Trailmen!