My son and family joined us for the 4th of July; one of our family traditions, for this holiday, is making "home made" ice cream. Usually I am the primary "ice cream cranker" and I crank until my strength gives out; then I sit on top of the case while my wife uses both hands to crank the final rotations. The finished product is usually very good, but almost everyone agreed this years was the best. What made the difference?...
I believe the difference in the quality of the ice cream this year was due to the fact that this years ice cream was a team effort. I was not the only, nor even primary, "cranker." This year my son, and two grand sons participated in the cranking task. The result was that as soon as one of us grew tired, a team member would step in and the speed and consistency of the cranking continued. Additionally, with four of us sharing the work, we were able to keep the ice cream cranking for a much longer time. The result was a very firm (and very delicious) product.
Generally speaking, more can be accomplished through a team effort than through the efforts of one individual.
This principle holds true in many areas of life:
Missions: If only four workers show up for a "after the storm" a yard clean up the project might take 4 or 5 hours. If 10 people show up the same job can be done in 2 hours or less.
Worship Team: I've experienced wonderful times of worship with a single guitarist as the worship leader. But the whole experience seems must richer and fuller when other instruments and members of the team are added.
Funeral Dinners: One of the ministries of our church is that of providing meals to families on the day of their loved ones funeral. If 15 people volunteer to bring food there is obviously much less work than there would be for 4 or 5 trying to prepare an entire family meal.
Caring For Loved Ones: Caring for one who is injured, ill, disabled, or on hospice can be an overwhelming task. As care givers are multiplied the burdened that is carried is indeed lightened.
I am thankful for the number of times individuals have "stepped up," taken responsibility, and accomplished many things. But I know first hand the value of a Team Effort. The proof of team effectiveness is indeed in the pudding (or in my case the ice cream)!
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.