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What Does It Mean To Be a Team Player ?

posted Mar 7, 2012, 10:39 PM by Susannah Francis   [ updated Mar 7, 2012, 10:46 PM ]
Below is an excerpt one of the lessons from the Artist Bible Study based on the text "The Heart of the Artist" by Rory Noland.  To view the complete study materials, please visit our Bible Study page on the website.

1) A Team Player Is Committed to the Cause of the Team.

Read the following passage and then answer the questions below.

Philippians 2:1-11
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, 
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 
rather, he made himself nothing 
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself 
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the
Father.
  1. What are some situations in drama ministry where being "like-minded" is challenged? 
  2. How as artists to we become one "in spirit and in mind?" 
  3. How have you seen people in your artist ministry violate the following verse? "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." 
  4. How do we become a servant to the church with our artist ministry? 
  5. If a church doesn't follow the philosophy of your ministry, how does this passage influence your next course of action? 
  6. If your ministry is multi-denominational, how does this passage influence your next course of action? 
Based on the above scripture, please analyze the two different hypothetical scenarios.
  1. Bob Parker started attending a new Methodist church but he already had a modern dance ministry that is multi-denominational in nature. This modern dance liked to use traditional biblical stories and put them in dance form in such a way to reach out into the community. Before becoming a member of this new church, Bob was concerned that the church would not like what his ministry had to offer. This, obviously, was a consideration in the church that was chosen. He talked with the pastor about this problem, however, and the pastor assured him that the congregation could use something like his ministry in the church. The first year he put on a modern dance interpretation of the Book of Job. At first, the church seemed to like it because over 100 people who were non church members attended the performance but when they found that this modern dance show didn't increase membership in the church, they became uncomfortable with the dance ministry. When Bob approached the minister about doing another show, the minister said that the church wanted to go in a different direction and they had no use for his modern dance at this time. Bob left the meeting in frustration wondering where he went wrong in choosing a church that really would not support his dance ministry. 

    In consideration of the above passages on humility, what should Bob's next move be? How would you feel if you were Bob? How should he try to feel? 

  2. Sarah Halloway is a talented singer who sings at Westlake Baptist Church on the Northeast side of Indianapolis. Sarah was super excited this year because she was going to sing "In Christ Alone" for the passion play that Westlake was showing that year. Sarah prepared for the song and had everything ready to go when the minister called her the night before the performance. "I'm sorry Sarah, but we can't use your song in the show. We realized the performance is too long and we had to cut about a half hour off the running time." 
In consideration of the above passage on humility, what should Sarah's next move be? How would you feel if you were Sarah? How should she try to feel?

2) A Team Player Is Committed to Resolving Relational Conflict

Psalm 133:1  
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Read the passage below and answer the following questions

Ephesians 4: 1-7; 11-16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

   “When he ascended on high,
   he took many captives
   and gave gifts to his people.”

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

  1. How do we, as team leaders, "be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another in love," especially when dissension or conflict arises?
  2. How do we keep unity of the spirit through the bond of peace on the team?
  3. This passage states "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. "  How do we support this idea as leaders with people of different denominations?  How do we promote this idea in our churches?  In the community?
  4. How are we tossed back and forth by the waves, blown here and there when we do not resolve conflict in a biblical way? 

Please use the following passage to answer the following hypothetical scenario.

Bob and Sherron are members of a 8 person praise team and Barnhill Methodist Church in New Castle, Indiana.  One day, the two had a political discussion one day that seemed to upset them.  Bob who is very conservative was super "disturbed" when he found out that Sherron had very liberal ideas on certain subjects.  This discussion, which ended up being a fight, caused them to stop talking to each other.  As the weeks went on, the tension and hurt feelings grew and the conflict began to spread as both Bob and Sherron began to share their feelings with other members of the group.  Based on the passage above, how do you as a leader of this praise team help to resolve this issue?

Matthew 18:15-17
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

"Too many of us, for some reason, think were exempt from the conflict resolution process laid out in Matthew 18.  We think it applies to everyone but us.  We think it's better not to confront the people with whom we are in conflict, and all this bitterness and resentment builds us inside us.  We think it's okay to talk to others about the problem we're having with so-and-so, but we never go straight to the source.  We're guilty of slander or gossip.  Even if what we say is true, it's still gossip.  And if it's false, it's slander.  If we haven't gone directly to the person with whom we're in conflict, we have no business going to anyone else and poisoning his or her opinion of that person."  - Rory Noland

1 Peter 3:10
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

Why do we want to gossip or "talk about our feelings"?

Ephesians 4:25-32
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How, if we haven’t resolved a conflict yet, do we not let the sun go down while we are still angry?  Is that possible?  (I am assuming that sometimes we cannot resolve conflict right away.)

How can resolving conflict in a biblical way as in Matthew Chapter 18 help to get rid of all bitterness rage, and anger?

3. A Team Player Encourages and Supports His/Her Teammates

Ephesians 4:29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

What are examples you have seen of “unwholesome talk” vs. talk that is encouraging?

Satan (Hebrew: הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan)
 "the accuser",[1] is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible.[2] In Christianity and Islam the title became a personal name, and "Satan" changed from an accuser appointed by God to test men's faith to the chief of the rebellious fallen angels ("the devil" in Christianity, "Shaitan" in Arabic, the term used by Arab Christians and Muslims)

ac·cuse  (http://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/schwa.gif-kyhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/oomacr.gifzhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gif)

v. ac·cused, ac·cus·ing, ac·cus·es

v.tr.

1. To charge with a shortcoming or error.

2. To charge formally with a wrongdoing.

v.intr.

To make a charge of wrongdoing against another.

Who is our biggest accuser?  How are we, as believers, sometimes caught up in this idea of accusation?  How can encouragement help to fight accusation?

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation

Barbara is organizing a free Christian dance class at her church, but is very nervous.  Sam, who has a seven year old child, decides to come.  Sam asks how many people are coming and Barbara says she doesn't know but says that 12 people have stated they are interested.  When Sam comes to the first class, however, she is shocked to find only three children attending including her own.  Upset, Sam blurts out to Barbara “Well they’re sure aren’t the amount of people you said were going to be here!”

  1. How did Sam’s comment make Barbara feel?
  2. Is it possible that Sam’s comment might have combined with accusations that are also going on in Barbara’s brain?
  3. How might have Sam have handled the situation better?

Hebrews 10:19-25
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

How can encouraging others help us to remind the one we are encouraging that Jesus cleans all previous sins? 

How does encouragement help to spur on good deeds?

1 Thessalonians 1-11
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

How does encouraging one another’s allow the one we are encouraging to “sober up”.  What does “the accuser” do that encourages “drunkenness”?

Another hypothetical scenario:
Nancy is an accomplished singer in Halliwood Baptist Church.  She has been the lead soloist at the Christmas Eve service every year for the last 10 years.  Recently, however, a new member has expressed interest in joining the choir.  After hearing the amazing ability of this new member named Alice, the pastor decides to give her the main solo for the Christmas Eve service and have Nancy sing backup.  When the performance happens, Nancy begrudgingly sings backup, but avoids Alice after the performance.    

How was Nancy not encouraging to Alice?  How could Nancy have approached this situation differently?   Do you see yourself in Nancy?  If so, how can you improve your outlook on encouraging someone like Alice?

Philippians 2:5-7
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant

How can we take on the nature of a servant with encouragement?

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