So many of the success stories in business today seem to focus around a single person and their desire to achieve or an idea that they run with that leads to spectacular results. Rarely are the models of success that are placed before us men and women working together to achieve a common goal. Even many of the books we are encouraged to read in order to improve our capacity for relationships, lateral thinking, planning and so on are focused on you or me the individual seeking to improve individual performance in one or another aspect of our lives. How well does all of this prepare us to embrace a Gospel calling? Not very well, I tend to think!

 

It is very clear from the Gospel that Jesus never acts on his own; he understands his mission to be one that is under the authority of his Father and always in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. I think that this model of communion in mission that ought to guide our thinking more than it does. Yes, there is a place for self-improvement but even that should be seen through two perspectives – for the benefit of the individual and the benefit of the community. If our goals in life do not stretch beyond our selves, then not only are we limiting our personal growth and influence to a very small number of people, one, but we are also limiting the degree to which God can use us in the proclamation of the Gospel.

 

We are all limited in the time and resources we have at our disposal in life and so we need to take the broader communitarian perspective regarding how to focus our individual time and resources. I am not saying that we should not seek to improve our personal skills; however, I am saying that this should be done mindful of more than our own personal benefit. The successful proclamation of the Gospel is best and most easily accomplished within a framework of shared ministry. Let us make sure we keep that in mind.

 

How well do I work with others in the proclamation of the Gospel? Or am I a ‘lone ranger’ style Christian? How can I better share my gifts for the benefit of the Gospel?

 

Jesus, help me to learn how to better work with others and share my gifts with them so that together we will be more effective in sharing the Gospel of salvation with others.