After almost 17 weeks of being absent from the corporate world while I recovered from my April knee injury, I finally made the trip to the Chicago area to work with one of the teams that I last saw in February. I was supposed to see them in April, but had to return home and have surgery rather than teach this awesome team.
So, we re-scheduled for June, as I try to see them every other month, but the surgeon didn’t clear me to drive or to be on my feet teaching a four hour workshop. Once again, I had to let them know that I wouldn’t be able to join them. I was sad that I wouldn’t have any contact with them until August when my next opportunity to see them would occur.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that they kept the June date to hold an all-staff meeting in place of the training session and couldn’t believe it when my phone rang as their meeting started. Their first order of business was to call me and see how I was doing. In decades of teaching, I don’t think that I have ever had a team call me and express that they missed me and wished me a speedy recovery. Not only that, but I received a card in the mail signed by each member of the team – and we’re talking about all 36 of them! It was absolutely terrific to know that they cared enough to stay in touch with me.
So, imagine my surprise when I finally got to meet with them in person last week and assess the team since we haven’t been together for six months. It was just like picking up where we left off. The team was strong and although there were issues to discuss, it was clear that they had made an effort to stay connected and practice their communication skills during my absence.
Teaching is one of my strongest spiritual gifts. I really love to connect with people and provide tools for them to increase their skills and get even better at their jobs than they had previously been. In a way, it kind of comes naturally to me. Communication and trust are the keys to successful team interaction and almost everything that is taught in organizational behavior and team dynamics points to dealing with these two issues.
I also believe that God has gifted me with leadership skills and the spiritual gift of hospitality. All three of my gifts work well in assisting teams and I derive a great sense of fulfillment when I see the results that compliant teams generate.
The Scripture speaks volumes about the various spiritual gifts. It is clear that God has endowed each of us with various gifts to use to advance His kingdom. And rarely do we have the same gifts as our neighbors or other family members. I think that God has paired us with others who complement the gifts that each of us has been given.
The apostle Paul tells us, in his letter to the church at Ephesus, in Ephesians 4:11, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…”
It has been a blessing to get back to one of the things that I really enjoy this past week. Teaching fulfills me in a way few others things do – whether it is a team working to improve their relationships with their patients or if I am teaching the Bible to our group that has been together almost 20 years now.
My encouragement tonight is that God has gifted each of us in a way that fulfills us and by that knowledge, we can know that we are in His will. My prayer is that each of us will use our gifts because we have been endowed with special skills that are unique to each of us and the world is better off when we use them collectively. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…