It’s Super Bowl time and 100+ million people in America were turned in to watch it on TV. In 2010, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants. After the game, Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen, the wife of Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, quipped to reporters that her husband couldn’t throw the ball and catch it too. She was referring to receivers who were dropping balls that should have been caught. It proves the point that no matter how good an individual player is, he needs others in the team to do their part (Note that the only major sport that is truly an individual one is golf, as you can play that by yourself. Even tennis requires an opponent.)
This brings us to the ‘Power of More than One,’ a follow up to the word I gave at the beginning of the year on ‘The Power of One,’ which seemed to resonate with people with the responses that they sent me.
Now there is an increased power when individuals team together to reach a goal, like Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Another word that refers to this is the word ‘synergy.’ Dutch Sheets and William Ford III in their excellent book ‘History Makers’ share two illustrations of synergy.
WHAT IS SYNERGY?
“Synergy is the combined action of two or more that produces a greater total effect than the sum of their individual efforts. If two individuals can each lift 100 pounds, when they join together, they can lift 300 pounds. This is synergy! Charles Simpson once quoted a study that showed that two horses working together pulling the same load, created so much horse power that it was if a third horse had been added. This is synergy, too. Think about it. God established a law dictating that in the natural realm multiplied power would be released through agreement, harmony and unity.
Here’s an incredible example of synergy. A man by the name of Herman Oster had a barn floor that was under 29 inches of water because of a rising creek. The Bruno, Nebraska farmer invited a few friends to a barn raising. He needed to move his entire 17,000 pound barn to a new foundation more than 143 feet away. His son, Mike, devised a ladder work of steel tubing, which he nailed, bolted and welded on the inside and outside of the barn. Hundreds of handles were attached. After one practice lift – wouldn’t you have loved to watch – 344 volunteers slowly walked the barn up a slight incline. In three minutes, the barn was on its new foundation. If 344 people had taken turns trying to move the barn, they would have done nothing but hurt themselves. Yet because they worked together, their strength was multiplied exponentially. If this kind of synergistic power is available in the natural realm, what might The Lord be willing to do for us when we work together spiritually? We could move some serious barns.”
Take PRAYER for example.
Individual Prayer – The word declares ‘the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ (James 5:16) One intercessor can achieve much. The ‘power of one’ at work.’
Prayer of Agreement – Jesus declared, ‘Again, I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.’ (Matthew 18:19) More power is released. It is ‘the power of more than one’ at work.
United Corporate Prayer – The book of Acts gives many examples of united corporate power such as the prayer meeting in Acts 4:24f, ‘They raised their voice to God with one accord . . when they prayed. The place where they were assembled together was shaken.’ We need prayer meetings like that today. (See also other scriptures like Leviticus 26:7-8 and Psalm 133)
THE EXAMPLE OF DAVID
David demonstrated ‘the power of one’ when, even as a young shepherd boy, he slew a lion and a bear with the help of the Lord. This prepared him to take on the giant Goliath and win. He demonstrated what one man in God can do. But for David to accomplish all that was his destiny, he needed others. It all started with a motley group of people. I Samuel 22:2 tells how ‘everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there was about four hundred men with him’ that grew and eventually enabled David to become the great king of Israel. It reminds me of a statement made by a great Australian, Pentecostal leader Leo Harris – ‘Every team needs a leader and every leader needs a team.’
THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS
In the previous Langstaff Letter, I shared the quote on ‘one solitary life’ and the impact that one life had on the world. If anyone could have done it alone, it was Jesus. But we need to remember that Jesus chose a team. Initially the twelve disciples, but eventually all who believed in Him (i.e. the church). If Jesus needed a team we need to be committed to be part of a team too. That is why I believe it is important to belong to a body of believers, most normally a local church. The New Testament knows nothing of ‘lone ranger Christians’ riding off, shooting off their Charismatic six guns.
ONE FINAL WORD
Where are you plugged in? Have you discovered the power of synergy? Who are you teamed up with? God has a place for you on His team. We are called to serve God together and remember we are on the winning side. Unlike the Super Bowl, we already know the result – We win because Jesus already won the victory for us at Calvary. Go Team!