IL 3/24/23: The Imperative of a Team

IL 3/24/23: The Imperative of a Team

(Audio Transcription Below)

Problem: I don’t know how to lead/be a part of a team (or I think I don’t need one) so I’m stuck where I’m at in life.

Exodus 17:8-13 8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.

  • (vs. 8) – Israelites face their first external threat – Amalekites. They are nomadic marauders/plunderers. Here’s how Moses describes them in In Deuteronomy
  • 25:17-19 – “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they attacked you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.”

They pick off the weak, those straggling behind. (vs. 9)

  • Easy meal can be lost (chetahs) if we don’t work as a team.
  • Each player has a designated role. What is mine?
  • Cats are the only ones who hunt as a team. 1 in 5 alone. 1 in 3 as a team.
  • Goal is to separate loan buffalo from heard.
  • Dangerous. Most lions die from water buffalo.

1) It’s dangerous to travel alone

Traveling alone is dangerous. For an Israelite straggler fleeing the Amalekites. For Water buffalo. Even for a lion. Buffaloe kill more lions than any other prey. It doesn’t matter how strong you are. Think about this, God himself is a team, all with different roles and skillsets. Father, son, and holy spirit. If he can’t do it by himself, why do we think we can?

The Amalekites picked off the ones trying to make it by themselves. When we travel alone, when we try to do it by ourselves we set ourselves up for an easy attack.

It took God exactly two chapters to decide that we didn’t need to exist by ourselves: Genesis 2:18 “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Why isn’t it good for man to be alone? “God knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 GNT). We’re weak. In general, I see guys get taken out by two specific things. I see this in my life today and in the Bible.

You don’t get wise counsel:

Proverbs 11:14: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

We see this clearly in Moses’ early life.

Exodus 2:11-15 SUMMARIZED

11 One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” 14 He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.

Moses didn’t get wise counsel. He just saw an issue and acted. He didn’t seek advice. He made a terrible mistake and it cost him 40 years in the desert.

We do this today. I do this today. This is why Paul makes a big deal about being “under” the elder board at the church. This is why men have wives that they need to talk to before they buy a new truck that is a great deal and incredible butt ugle (personal experience here). This is why companies have boards. If you don’t have other strong Christians that you get wise counsel from, and who you are willing to submit to and listen to, find them. It is great insurance against getting taken out.

You’re susceptible to sin:

Traveling alone puts us at a spiritual risk too. We’re way more likely to sin when we’re along. Specifically, I see good men in the Bible and in life falling for some kind of sexual sin. There are probably too many to list here, but the one you’re all thinking of is David when he lusted after Bathsheba and had her husband killed so he could have sex with her. Ouch. Do you remember what David was doing when he fell for this? It says that he was along on his roof top “when kings go off to war.” Apparently all his boys when to fight and he hung around the house by himself to take it easy. Bad idea.

In our life today, this happens on the business trip out of town when you’re lonely and nobody is around. It’s the screen late at night when you’re watching something you know you shouldn’t. It’s the phone sitting in your truck as you’re scrolling and you pause way too long on one post. While there are probably exceptions, generally we fall for sexual temptation when we’re alone, not when we’re traveling with the pack. Satan knows this too gentlemen. He’s probably not going to confront you with it when you’re with your family on the way to church. It’s probably going to be while you’re nursing a defeat by yourself. Don’t fall for it.

The real danger of sexual sin, or really any sin, is that we push God away. We want to remain alone. We don’t want God to be a part of it. We further isolate ourselves. God know this happens so he designed us to function on teams and not alone. It’s for our own protection.

Now that you seen the danger of traveling alone, let’s look at the benefits of a team.

2) You are made for a team

Avoid bottlenecks

Me, first 10 years in business. Didn’t get very far. Always struggle. Felt trapped. One person is the bottleneck.

Like Moses. Jethro’s confrontation:

Jethro – I love this guy…Not at all intimidated by Moses, doesn’t mince words, makes no attempt at being diplomatic.

  • (vs. 14) – Why do you sit alone?
  • (vs. 17) – What you are doing is not good.
  • (vs. 18) – You are wearing everyone out, it’s too heavy, you can’t do it alone.
  • (vs. 19) – Obey my voice….I will give you advice.

(I hope you have someone like this in your life – You must have someone on your team like Jethro!!)

What’s interesting is that it seems Moses didn’t really get this until Jethro had the Cojones to tell him. Why? He had a blindspot.

Reveal blindspots

Being able to see these blindspots is another benefit of being on a team. What stopped me from joining a team is that I had trust issues. It took a close friend to tell me. Invite people to show you your blindspots. To do this you’ll need humility. However, you’ll gain the meta-slill of the century: Self Awareness. “self-awareness is the the metaskill of the 21st century”. – Insight by Dr. Tasha Eurich

We’ve talked about the dangers of not being on a team and we’ve hit on the reasons while you’re made to be on a team. Now for the exciting part. Let’s see what’s possible if you’re on a really good team.

3) Teams let you achieve the impossible

Really good teams allow you to accomplish the impossible. The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team can beat the seemingly invincible Soviet squad. Apple can produce an iPhone that opens our world. The allies can stop the Nazi war machine. You can build a temple in Jerusalem that rivals the most beautiful buildings today with no power tools.

In general team’s always win. Why, because….

Teams multiply our effort

We can all work harder right? We can put in a little more sweat and a little more effort and maybe we get the job done 20% faster or go 20$ further than we did before. We can get incremental gains.

However, with a team we can double, triple, 10x the result when people do it with us. Keep this in mind the next time you think it’s better to work a bit harder than to come along side someone else.

Sometimes though, we’ve got to do things by ourself. Good news….

You’re on a team with God

You can be alone and still on a team. No matter where you go you are on a “team” with father/son/holy spirit. We’ve read over and over in scripture how God willl never leave us or forsake us. He’s always got us on a team with him.

Deuteronomy 41:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

John 15:5 describes us as being connected to the vine, and bearing fruit because of it.

Coming out of Long Dark Night of the Soul. Silence made me realize just how much I value being on a team with God. If you feel alone, and aren’t on a team with God, you don’t have to go another day in this position. Let’s talk. Fix this now.

However, we know that all groups are NOT teams. I hate to say it, but this is what happened to UNC basketball this year. We had a really great group of players who never became a team.

What makes a team? Humble Trust

4) Humble Trust is the currency of effective teams

John Maxwell acronym that might help: B E S T

B – Believe in them

E – Encourage them

S – Share with them

T – Trust them

Zig Ziglar said it this way “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”


You’ll notice that the first part of the equation is humbling ourselves before those around us. There is no better picture of this than what we see in the scriptures when Jesus washes the disciples feet.

Putting others first. Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Lots of ways to describe this. They all amount to the same thing. When we do this well, we have the opportunity to build trust.


Trust is the currency of teams. It’s how we earn the right to be a leader. When you think about it trust has two components. You see this clearly in Moses life. First, Moses had to trust people to have his back. To hold up his arms. To Judge well.

Second, Moses has to be trustworthy. He has to keep his word. This is about consistency.


We’ve seen that:

It’s dangerous to travel alone. We don’t benefit from good counsel and we’re very susceptible to fall into sin, particularly sexual sin.

We’re made for teams because they prevent us from suffering from bottlenecks and they point out our blindspots.

We looked at how teams enable us to accomplish the impossible on our own by multiplying out effort. We also saw that as a christian we benefit from being on a team with the father, son and holy spirit, even when we’re physically alone.

We looked at how humility and trust are the currency that runs high performance teams.


  1. Am I trying to do this alone when I should be part of a team of other believers? Have a separated myself from God’s team by rebelling against him or denying him access to my life?
  2. Do I have blind spots in my life that are breaking my relationships? Do have someone like Jethro who can and will speak into my life? Do I need to give someone permission to do this?
  3. As a leader, have I have become a “Bottleneck.” Things don’t happen unless they go through me…I am slowing things done unnecessarily. How do I fix this?
  4. Do I struggle with being humble enough to trust others with responsibility? Where do I need to put others before myself and show trust?
  5. Am I doing something that makes me an untrustworthy part of a team?

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