Archives For Synergy

Together. . . Over Me!

February 10, 2010 — Leave a comment

“. . . come together right now, over me!”  ~ The Beatles

I read a Henry Ford quote this morning that grabbed me.  It said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success!”  Together . . . now there’s the rub.  As a pastor, I have the privilege of “joining together” couples in the holy covenant of marriage.  If you have any age on you at all, whether married or not, you know the easy part is coming together.  Like the Henry Ford quote says – it’s a beginning.  It’s the easy part.  We come together in our organizations around a lot of different things – common beliefs, experiences, shared dreams, ideas, worthy causes, projects, etc.  No one joins together with someone else with the idea, “this won’t last long.”  I have never had a young couple sit down with me at the beginning of marriage counseling and ask to make provision for the divorce.  We just don’t think that way – yet, so many ends up that way!  The honeymoon doesn’t last –  whether in marriage, at your new job, with your new house or car.  The new wears off.  The problems increase.  Things start to break down.  It’s at this point where we get to see what we are REALLY made of.

The second part of that quote says, “. . . keeping together is progress.”  My mom and dad set the bar very high for the rest of our family.  They were married almost 63 years when my father died.  They hadn’t only come together, but they had kept together – through World War II that separated them by an ocean; through decades of economic challenges with raising four children; through job changes and health issues.  Life made them to be different people than they were when they started – yet they continued to grow together even as they both changed as individuals over the years.  Needless to say, it takes a huge commitment that is based on love when you see people finish together – starting is the easy part.

I think it’s in this “keeping together” stage where we have an eye-opening experience.  We become disillusioned.  And that’s not a bad thing – because the “illusion” has been removed.   We begin to see things as they really are.   Our mate, business partner, boss, coach, leader, pastor, friend – isn’t perfect.  With that realization and some honesty, we sometimes painfully recognize that we aren’t either.  It’s in these “crisis” moments that destiny is forged or lost.  I either choose to acknowledge that God “joined me” to this person in marriage, in friendship, in a business partnership or spiritual relationship for the purpose of producing something that I could never accomplish alone or I completely discard it with a view that leaving it and starting over again will be the answer. Some people change jobs, marriages and churches like they trade cars.  Something wrong with that!  We fail to realize that we leave one situation and walk right into the next, carrying our same baggage and problems with us – only to wake up in a couple of years feeling like we’ve been here before, seen these same circumstances.  We’re stuck in a relational “Ground Hog Day!”

As much as we’d like to take a snapshot of our happiest moment and freeze our lives in that place, we all know it’s not possible.  Everything changes – we grow up , we grow older.  So many things in the life of my family don’t even resemble the way things were done in the lives of my parents.  We live and work differently; we travel and are entertained very differently.  Yet, with all the changes, I learned something vital from my parents – I can’t make anything successful until I learn to work together with others.

Dawn and I will celebrate 25 years together this year.  We are still learning how to work together.  We have been pastoring Victory Church now for over 21 years. We are still learning in that arena of leadership as well.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to see people come together regularly.  The favor of God has been upon us and a lot more are coming together as we’ve seen growth.  It’s an even greater blessing to see people willingly address differences that are a part of life and choose to keep together in their homes and marriages, on their jobs and in their local church.  But the greatest accomplishment is seeing people make the choice and commit to working together to accomplish something that we could never do alone.  I’m thankful to say that this is happening in the lives of our congregation right now more than I’ve ever seen it before in the history of our church.  Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people unto myself.”  Jesus caused us to come together – can keep us together and can show us how to work together.  Come together . . . right now, over Him!

“Again, I say to you, if you two of you agree on earth about anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:19 (ESV)

Do you see how interdependent everything is in our walk with each other and with God?  Two in agreement obviously creates a “prayer synergy.”  Agree here is the Greek word, “sumphoneo.”  From it, we get the English word, symphony.  When two can get in harmony together, it will move Heaven and earth.  This promise comes in the middle of a passage dealing with offenses and the right way to handle them.  People who choose to follow this pattern of handling offense mature and get their prayers answered.  Those who don’t – DON’T!

“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle. . .”

Exodus 25:8-9a

The covenant nation had an assignment.  God raised up a “set man” – whom He had called and prepared to lead His people.  While on the mountain, God gave Moses a command to build and a blueprint to follow – a pattern for the tabernacle.  The Lord then stirred the hearts of the people to give of their resources – a complete list is found in Exodus 25.  Then artisans and craftsmen (Exodus 31:1-6) according to their skill sets were chosen to build the furniture and fashion the tabernacle according to God’s pattern.  God was very specific about wanting it done right.  Each person had a part.  Do you know yours?

“And the Lord said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.”                   Genesis 11:6 (ESV)

God came down to see what unity among people looked like.  He was impressed to say the least.  Building something wasn’t the problem; it was the motivation behind it.   They were looking to make a name for themselves by constructing a tower whose top would reach to the heavens.  They were one in purpose and one in language – all saying the same thing.  Why can’t the body of Christ learn that?  God has stated our purpose clearly in His Word.  What’s left is getting unified in our communication – what we are speaking to each other! Let’s give, pray and fast for unity in the communication of our vision.

The Sound of Silence

January 14, 2010 — Leave a comment

“But Joshua commanded the people, You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout.  Then you shall shout.”                    Joshua 6:10 (ESV)

They all shouted and the walls of Jericho fell.  I don’t believe that’s the biggest miracle in the story.  The day the walls fell, the Israelites silently circled the city seven times and then shouted when they heard the trumpets sound.  Prior to that, they silently circled the city once a day for six days.  The power of synergy is certainly seen in the combined shouts of millions of Israelites.  Some kind of sonic miracle that caused walls to crumble yet didn’t burst their ear drums took place.  Still the greatest miracle is that they were able to circle the city a total of 13 times silently – no grumbling, no complaining!  Wow!

Espirit de Corps

January 11, 2010 — Leave a comment

“When the Day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.”

Acts 2:1 (ESV)

The word for “together” is more than just showing up in the same spot.  The NIV translation says, they were all “with one accord.”  There is absolutely nothing like the feeling experienced when a people wholeheartedly get behind a vision, combining all their talents, skills and hearts for the purpose of accomplishing something far bigger than themselves.  It’s called TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.  The French call it “esprit de corps” – the spirit of a group that makes the members want the group to succeed – home, job or church.  Your indicator to having it is what’s coming out of your mouth – complaint or encouragement.  How’s your team spirit?

The Power of Synergy

January 6, 2010 — Leave a comment

“The total is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Teamwork makes the dream work.  Combined efforts make a huge difference. We can accomplish far more together than we can accomplish separately.  Obvious principles of cooperation and unity apply here.  Our natural bodies provide the scriptural analogy to the body of Christ having cooperating members and systems. Combining these three principles of giving, praying and fasting will have an overwhelming synergistic effect in what you are seeking God for over the next four weeks as you give – sow seeds expecting a return, as you pray and seek your Heavenly Father who loves you and as you fast something in order to intensify your prayer.  Expect a miracle!