When I was in high school, our teachers loved to assign projects in groups. I have to admit, I believed in the maxim, “If you want to get something done right, you might as well do it yourself.” It was hard work (and many times frustrating) to gather people together, listen to their ideas, adjust my plans, and complete the project.
Over the past years, I have seen this same mentality among many Christian workers looking to establish themselves in a closed country. They believe they are better off working alone. I am sure they have their reasons, but over the years, we have seen most of them come and go.
No matter who you are, you will need encouragement and accountability while serving overseas. There are very few individuals who can survive on their own without the fellowship and guidance of others. Developing a team seems to be the best strategy for long-term effectiveness in creative access countries. Whether the team is doing the same business or loosely connected, the important thing is that you are meeting regularly to encourage and pray with one another. Teams develop vision, values and strategy together; however, most importantly, they help carry one another’s burdens.
Teams are not always easy, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Satan will try and divide your team! He will work to fracture your relationships and cause division, but with prayer, love, and lots of grace, you can overcome these attacks. Remember, “Teams that pray together, stay together.”