It Takes a Team

18407421-jigsaw-pieces-being-joined-shows-teamwork-and-assemblingThink back to the last time you put a puzzle together.

If you did it yourself, it took a while and at times you felt like giving up.  It may have sat on that table for a long time.

If you did it with other people, you had a chance to see a team working together to solve a problem.

There was the person who collected the edge pieces and started lining them up to help determine the size and boundary of the puzzle.   This person wanted everyone to help them because they think this is the way to start.

Another collected all the pieces that had writing on them hoping to put those pieces together, and, using the picture, place them where they belong inside that boundary. They usually worked quietly and alone.

Another started gathering all the blue pieces, or the green pieces and sat on the side testing piece after piece against each other trying to find some that fit. In fact, they would become rather upset if they saw you holding one of ‘their’ pieces.

Perhaps there was another person, up and down, busy with something else, who came and left and was more of a spectator than anything else. But, once in a while they would find a piece and put it in.

Someone will announce that they have chosen the hardest route.  Another may try to examine someone else’s work.  There will always be someone who puts a piece in, thumps it with them finger and says loudly “Ta-da!” in celebration.

Puzzles are best put together by people, by a team of people, each doing their job.  Most the time they work independently but when it is all over there is only one picture.

That’s the way teamwork is…different people working together in different ways all on the same puzzle.  It makes for fun and success if we can let them do it their way.

So, when you are a member of a team:
1. Accept diversity on your team.
2. Let people work the way they are most comfortable.
3. Let there be examination and celebration
4. Have respect for one another
And, most important of all…Make sure you are all working on the same puzzle.

Oh, one more thing.  Ever notice that when one piece is missing in a large completed section, everyone starts looking for the same piece, helping one another, almost competing with each other.  Awww, the beauty of team work.  Getting the job done!


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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