Saturday, December 8, 2012


This past week I was meeting with a friend and sharing ideas I am working on with my staff team at the church.  Several times I must have used the term "we" in the midst of our conversation without even realizing it.  Because of this person's current context he picked up on it and said, "Stephen you have to remember, you keep saying 'we' and where I am, there is no 'we.'"

I must confess, I was taken back by his observation.  The more I have reflected on it, the more thoughts have continued to flood my mind.  So here are some of them, in a spiral thought-flow:

Why don't you have a "we"?  I am not sure it really matters what your context is, it seems like you should be developing "we."  Now I realize that one of the challenges my friend faces in that process is the people around you don't always want to come along and become a part of the team.  But even if you don't have anyone to be on your team right now, start growing them!  Do whatever it takes to develop the "we" around you, even if it has to start with one other person.  This was a part of the power of Jesus.  Certainly there were times when he went away and sought solitude, but that always seemed to be in the context of going back to the team.  In fact, God's entire mission is team critical!  He actually chooses to accomplish His mission with us, and the very nature of his existence as Trinity is "we!"

I am so thankful for my "we."  I am a part of some great teams!  It starts with my family. They are fantastic and I am blessed everyday by their willingness to partner with me in the ongoing creation of life and beauty with God.  It continues with my staff.  Each one of them brings such a powerful voice into the life of our church and in the work God is calling us to accomplish with Him.  It extends to my community.  The breadth and depth of the people I am connected to is astounding, and each of them adds value to my life.  It's powerful to realize that I cannot and would not be the man I am without these teams around me!

I am critical to "we."  While I understand that the teams around me help me to be better, I also recognize that the functioning of those groups is also very dependent on me.  In fact, because of the leadership role God has called me to in each of those teams, I am actually a linchpin (Seth Godin style!) in the ongoing health, creation, and functionality of those teams.  God has privileged me with the honor of being a co-creator with Him in the birth and development of those teams.  The truth is, He wants to continue to use me to grow and strengthen those teams by raising others up and giving even more shared power away to the development of the "we" around me.  And when I do my part, "we" are all strengthened as a result.

"We" is mission critical.  One final thought.  The God I serve has some really big dreams and hopes and visions He is working to accomplish, and He wants me to be a part of them.  But those dreams are big enough there is actually no way I can accomplish them by myself, even if I continue to partner with Him.  It is going to take all of us working together, harnessed with all of His power and resources, to accomplish His mission.  A true "we" effort!

When I first was confronted by the words of my friend I was almost apologetic for having a "we." Now after some significant reflection, I won't ever apologize for being someone who values and cultivates the "we" in life!