Monday, October 30, 2017

Contributions of Jesus, Apostle Paul, and Luther to Teamwork

by Robert C. Frank

At the time that Jesus lived, all major leaders were kings or emperors who exercised total control over everyone else in their realm. Jesus Christ was unique in that he was a servant leader instead of a monarch. He taught others by example to also become servant leaders. Servant leadership is an enabling form of leadership that emphasizes that every human life is important, and leadership is to be shared. Servant leadership is the basis of democracy and teamwork in government.

The Apostle Paul, studying the life of Jesus, came up with an excellent example of diversity as a part of teamwork in 1 Cor. 12, where he compared the followers of Jesus to the parts of the human body and called them the Body of Christ. The human body consists of parts that are all different, but they function as a single unit by their superb ability to work together. Teamwork is like that in that all the members of the team are different and have different abilities but they all work together in a coordinated manner toward a common goal.

Martin Luther lived at a time when Christians were led by a hierarchy of leaders, some of whom wanted them to pay money to decrease the time they and their family members spent in purgatory before getting into heaven. Based on what he found in the Bible, Luther proclaimed that God’s forgiveness was a free gift and that all followers of Jesus were equal. This “priesthood of all believers” concept adds strength to modern Christian teamwork.

The success of teamwork depends upon communication and education which historically have improved with the aid of science. However, science has also improved with the aid of Christian teamwork.