Not a Modern Invention. Two years ago I was diagnosed with aggressive, stage iv cancer. So I got a team of believers to unite with me—to agree with me in prayer for a miracle. We know teams of people, working together in harmony, can accomplish great things. And you know, Vince Lombardi didn’t invent the idea. Jesus Christ brought a team of men and women together, he called them the church, who turned the world upside down for him.
Furthermore St. Paul gave us a terrific descriptions of teamwork in I Corinthians 12. ”Just as the body is a unity with many parts, and all the parts, though many, form one body, so it is with Christ’s body [the church]. (v. 12) And, “There should be no discord in the body, but all the parts will be equally concerned for each other. (v.25)
Great Teams Share Two Traits. The first is love—love for their leader and love for one another. Vince Lombardi’s men testified that their success in football was due to their love for their coach and their faith in him. Further, after winning the super bowl, we saw how they put their arms around each other and said over and again, “I love these guys.” It was also key to General Patton’s success in the war. His men loved and believed in him. They also shared a bond of love with each other. They were truly a band of brothers.
Jesus’ Order for a New Order. This is why, Jesus repeated five times his great command to us, his church. Show your faith in me and love for me, “Love one another as I have loved you and the world will believe. Love for each other is winsome and will win the world.
A Symphony or Cacophony? The other trait of great teams is its members are in agreement. Jesus promised his church, “If [even] two or three of you are in agreement, they can ask for anything, and it will be done, and I will be there, in the midst of you.” The Greek for agreement is symphanous, i.e. symphony–the epitome of folks working together in harmony to produce something beautiful.
Jesus Prays for His Church What do great teams agree to?–that the team and its mission is more important than the private agendas, egos, and preferences of its members. They grasp the idea: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” They are able to sing truthfully the line from the old hymn, “all one body we.” That’s why, in his prayer, Jesus prayed four times for his church, “Father, may they be united as we are. May they be one that the world will believe.”
Well, I found my prayer team and am happy to report the answer. Without any further treatments, my last blood test showed the cancer is not growing, but shrinking.
But that isn’t as important as what you are doing at your church. If you are a team that loves Jesus Christ and loves one another, and if you are in harmony as a church about your mission, and working together to achieve it, you will grow. But there is another vital thing needed: united prayer. If you band together and pray, as those early Christians did, you will not only grow, you will make an impact for him in your community.