In Real Life

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Matthew 12:30, ESV

I do alright at driving my vehicle – which is normal I guess with over 20k miles per year. I am even good at keeping on top of routine maintenance; but I’m out of my league when something breaks. Recently Penny Sue was making a rattling noise in the front (long story, but that’s her name). I knew it wasn’t normal so off to the shop she went. Something about stabilizing bars and axles – my simplification: she broke her ankle and need fixed. They did a great job and got her back to me fast!

And yet, there was still something not right. I noticed a little bit of a pull in the steering wheel that wasn’t there before. I didn’t think much of it at first – but it became more noticeable. I could take my hand off the wheel and Penny Sue would slowly shift off course to the left – away from where we intended to go. I called the shop and they explained that this was normal with new parts – and recommended an alignment.

Penny Sue’s new ankle was not aligned with the rest of the team’s mission and therefore she required constant handling.

Jesus talks about mission alignment too. In today’s verse – he is teaching that a divided kingdom (or team) can never succeed. This verse stood out to me last week – I’ve probably read this section twenty or more times – but this time, this verse grabbed me.

Jesus is telling us there is no neutral ground. You are either for him or you are against him. AND, you are either drawing people toward him with your heart, actions and words – or you are driving people away from him. The thing is, Jesus does not take hold of your steering wheel forcefully to guide you down the path. You must give it to him willingly.

How can we use this in a workplace setting? Missing alignments will pull a team off course, or apart; constant handling will drain leadership and scatter teammates. Here are some ideas:

  • Have a well-defined organizational mission, and one for each workgroup.
  • Adapt recruiting tactics to prioritize cultural fit above skill set.
  • Acclimate new members with the localize mission project or task – reviewing often.
  • Make replacements when needed. Jesus teaches that his united team (kingdom) only includes active and willing participants. Yours should also – sometimes we must give passive members or antagonists permission to be somewhere else that might make them happier.

Do this well, review often and purge as needed increases the chances of a team that willingly gathers together. And, love them like Jesus while you’re at it!