Pastor and Christian Leadership Resources

What it means to be a team player

  • Published Aug 20, 2001
What it means to be a team player
If you're part of a team - whether it be a choral group at church or a business management team - you know that the success of your endeavor depends on how well you work together for the common good and final outcome.

  • A team player is committed to the cause. Instead of doing your own thing or fostering your own agenda, team members are focused on the goals of the organization, congregation, or business. Philippians 2:2 tells us to be like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose. When everyone on a team is intent on the same purpose, that team will do great things.

  • A team player is committed to resolving relational conflict. If each team member owns the responsibility for team unity, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) then the team will remain intact. Conflict is inevitable whenever people are gathered together in community and deepening their relationships. The determination to resolve the conflict is the key to success.

  • A team player encourages and supports the other team members. Most people have no difficulty encouraging someone whose gifts pose no threat to their place on the team. Your character is truly proven when you can root for those who have the same gifts you have. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act (Prov. 3:27).

  • A team player holds on to gifts loosely. NBA coach Pat Riley says, Doing your most for the team will always bring something good for you. It means believing that everything you deserve will eventually come your way. You won't have to grab for it. You won't have to force it. It will simply catch up to you, the forward motion of your hard work.

  • A team player tries to bring a healthy self to the team. A physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy person is ready to be an active member of a team. Paul commended the church in Macedonia because they gave themselves first to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:5) and then were able to give to others in need. When you're walking with the Lord, you are a better team player.

  • A team player doesn't care who gets the credit or the glory. It is more important that the works gets done than to steal the show.

  • A team player sees the role as valuable, no matter how small. Some roles are more behind-the-scene than others while some are more prominent. The mature team player knows that a team cannot function without all members pulling their own weight.

  • A team player submits to authority. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Taken from The Heart of the Artist by Rory Noland. Copyright (c) 1999 by Rory Noland. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530, 1-800-727-3480.

Rory Noland is a founding member of Willow Creek Community Church and has been its music director since 1984. A graduate of the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University, he has written or co-written numerous songs and worship choruses. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two sons.