Collaboration Definition of the Apostle Paul
In one of my favorite Peanuts cartoons Lucy demanded that Linus change the TV channels by threatening him with her fist if he does not respond.
Linus asks, “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?”
Lucy responds, “These five fingers!” “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.”
“Which channel do you want?” asks Linus.
After his response, Linus then looks at his fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”
When people collaborate, there is power! Through history, there have been many great leaders who have shared their ideas and visions. The Apostle Paul is one such leader.
The majority of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul and in his writings one not only finds solid doctoral teachings for the early church, but there are also many guidelines for a strong collaboration definition. After all, he was a key organizational leader for the New Testament church.
One of the first issues that Paul addresses in his work deals with the importance of accepting those who are different. Paul’s embracing of those who are “different” is not an acceptance of diverse life styles, but is an acceptance of those who are culturally different. The Jewish faith, of which Paul had extensive training, had many “laws, guidelines and principles.” Many who were embracing the new Christian faith were not from that background. The culture of the early New Testament church was becoming extremely diverse!
Collaboration Definition Through Diversity
How does a leader deal with diversity?
The key to bringing together different opinions has to be done in “uniting together” those diversities. How is that accomplished? How do you bring people groups of differing opinions together to accomplish a goal or mission? Here two basic points for a strong collaboration definition:
- Plant the team in diversity?
- Grow the team in unity?
For the Apostle Paul, the goal was to bring all believers in Jesus under one umbrella of the New Testament gospel. His goal was to increase the power and strength of the gospel message and eliminate the undesired principles and practices of all who were coming together. His focus was to bring the best of both groups together.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Paul’s strategy of team development was just like two plants that have been brought together to create one! This is like cross-pollinating two plants to make one.
Several summers ago a friend invited me to look at her Day-Lilly garden. I had never seen anything like it before or sense. It was a collection of the most diverse color that I had every seen. It looked like the colors of a large crayon box I remember owning as a child. Just about every color you could name was in her garden. After walking through the garden, I was given a brief lesson by my friend on how she had “crossed” some of the flowers in her garden. As she told me how this was done, I listened in amazement at how diverse plants could be mixed and united together to make one. That was a perfect lesson in teamwork. It was a lesson in how diversity creates something beautiful when bringing different people together.
The Apostle Understood How Collaboration Works
Paul understood how a collaboration definition of a group worked with people. Not one of us is greater or lesser than the other but when combined it is amazing what can be accomplished.
Diversity, when united, is a powerful tool! When differences are ignored, it can cripple the work of any mission. The goal of every organization, business or church leader should be to have their team “united together.” There is power in unity.
The Apostle Paul gave this advice about diversity when he wrote his letter to the New Testament church at Corinth. He said,
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Being united in diversity is a key for success for any team leader!