Over the last year, our team has been working through the values that we created together a few years ago at our team retreat. We found that we weren’t really doing enough as a team to hold these values in front of us and use them as a unifying force as we approached ministry together. Often, though we wanted to live by those principles, they were largely forgotten in the day-to-day.
We decided to change this. We started by revisiting the values and reaffirming or reworking what exactly we wanted them to be. Then we began taking our prayer meeting time each week to dive deeper into each value, looking at what it was God was teaching us in that area, scriptures that tied to that value and gave it importance, and ways we as a team were struggling or succeeding in that area and could improve. Then we prayed for that value to be present in our team—for us to remember it and uphold it in an effort to always be more like Christ, together.
This week marks the last week of the last value. And though the process has been a long one, and at times a bit tedious, I have already begun to see the ways that focusing on what God wants for us through these values has helped our team grow to be a healthier team.
Our last value is the following: “We promise to advocate for holistic health, recognizing that the health of the team is dependent on the health of its individuals.”
I believe that healthy people make a healthy team and a healthy team is a testament to God’s power at work among us. Because, trust me, it is far easier to be an unhealthy individual that contributes to an unhealthy team, than it is to pursue true wholeness and health in the Lord.
I think that it is fitting that this value is the last on our list, with our first few values focusing on personal relationships with the Lord, accountability, and growth, the next few on trust, communication, and conflict, and the one right before this on celebration, support, and encouragement.
In a way, our values show a path to a healthy team and end with a commitment to advocate for that and live it out in our own lives. True holistic health cannot happen if I am not focusing on God and putting my relationship with him first. It cannot happen if I am not fostering trust with those he has placed close to me. It cannot happen if I callously approach communication and conflict.
In addition to that, these values have given us a framework and the language to discuss health in our team. They have opened the door to a conversation that will be ongoing for as long as we exist together. No team is always healthy. No individual is always healthy. But when we, together, have language to talk about our struggles, to hold each other accountable, and to encourage each other, we can better navigate situations that arise which would otherwise derail our path toward completeness in Christ.
I want to leave you with one (or a couple) of the scriptures that we discussed in our last prayer meeting about the value of health:
“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:14
“My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.”
– Proverbs 4:20-23
Maybe you too need the healing power of Christ (don’t we all?!). Maybe you need that in your team as well. I would encourage you to keep taking steps forward to pursue your relationship with the Lord above all else, to learn to better communicate and handle conflict, and to trust that health is a journey, not a quick fix. As you walk down this path, God will show up—in fact, he is really already there.