Teamwork—working together in unity to pursue an organized joint effort—is illustrated throughout the Bible. That’s because believing and working together in unity is a vital part of carrying out God’s will. In the Gospels let’s consider records of people who believed together and worked as unified teams to bring God’s power into impact.
When people join forces and work together in unity to achieve a common goal, they are often more effective and efficient than one individual working alone would be. That’s teamwork!
We’ll see a great example of teamwork in the Gospel of John. Jesus Christ, acting upon revelation from God, worked together with his “team” of disciples, and a most miraculous meal occurred.
And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
With the disciples rallying to support Jesus Christ, thousands of people experienced this memorable meal. Initially, the disciples were considering their lack of resources. But then the master teacher, Jesus Christ, elevated their view to see God’s resources. With this encouragement, the disciples were ready to help with the plan, and they took action. By the power of God, Jesus Christ and his disciples were able to meet the immediate food needs for thousands of people, and the outcome demonstrated that God can and will supply in any situation. What an impact! All who were present saw God provide in abundance. That’s God’s style—to provide for His people in abundance!
In our next example from the Gospels, we’ll see that when we give our best in whatever way we function, it helps the team be its best.
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus worked as a team as they prepared the food, served their guest, entertained him at the table, and showed great love by anointing him with very costly oil. Each of them did their part to care for and support Jesus Christ.
This supper must have provided much-needed refreshment and comfort for Jesus Christ during this time when opposition by the religious leaders had intensified to the point that they had determined to put him to death. Because these siblings worked together in unity, their loving actions contributed to the strength that our lord and savior would have needed for the challenging days that were to come.
The Gospels include other similar examples, such as those recorded in Luke, chapter 10, when Jesus sent out the seventy to preach, and Mark, chapter 2, when four men lowered a sick man through a roof opening so that he could be healed by Jesus Christ. I enjoy considering the impacts these men and women made by deciding to work together as unified teams. We can keep in mind that as we work together in unity with fellow believers in God’s household, we too can bring God’s power into impact!