As a Church we want to see people serve together, to be on mission together. Leaders need to prepare or equip people (Eph. 4:11-12) which not only involves training on the specific ministry they’ll be doing but also helping them learn to work as a team.
We’ve been using Philippians 2 for some Essential Team Building Components. We’ve already noted, from the first two verses, that team building takes alignment with God’s purposes. Unity must be based on who we are and what with have in the Lord, not our own agendas.
Personal agendas are born out of our own needs and interests. Consequently, team members must look beyond themselves to the needs and interests of each other, suggesting interdependence, which we see in verses 3-4.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
We need each other to be most effective. It’s not about how much “I” accomplish but how God uses “us” to do His work — interdependence, not independence.
Signs of Independence
Some of the phrases in Philippians 2:3-4 point to independence:
needing to do things your way — That’s selfish ambition.
needing to get the credit — That’s vain conceit.
needing to first think about how something affects you — That’s looking out for your own interests.
Signs of Functioning Interdependently
Other phrases in Philippians 2:3-4 suggest what’s needed to be interdependent:
wanting to be a servant — That’s humility.
wanting to help others succeed — That’s valuing others above yourselves.
wanting to consider how something affects others — That’s looking out for the interests of others.
Building a Team and Interdependence Must Go Together
The verses we’ve been looking at in Philippians 2 aren’t just telling us as individuals how to respond. They’re meant for the whole group, all members, as seen in two phrases used in these verses:
1) “others” in verse 3 is allelon in the Greek language, actually meaning “one another”
2) “each of you” in verse 4 means just that, each or every one of you
These phrases denote a mutual, reciprocal work on the part of believers one toward the other — functioning interdependently.
Philippians 2 isn’t about one person, perhaps you as the leader, always keeping peace and progressing by caving in to the demands or agendas of others. It isn’t about someone becoming a doormat, being walked on by others. Rather, each and every one looks out for the interests of others. We value one another. We’re all in it together looking out for the good of the whole. Until you get to that point as a group, where you’re functioning interdependently, you haven’t built a team.