In real-world engineering, there is no MVP. A team isn’t a true team if one “best” worker shoulders 80 percent of the load, leaving others’ work optional, insignificant, or less influential.
Teamwork means no one is the star player (“It’s all hanging on me”) whose sole performance makes or breaks a project. Real teamwork means the project depends on every team member. Similarly, real teamwork means no one can claim to be irrelevant—no excuses for flaking out or disengaging (“I don’t need to do much. I’m not needed here anyway.”).
True teamwork means every member’s contribution is not only helpful but necessary. The game hangs on everyone’s play.
Two misconceptions about teamwork and community:
Falsehood #1: “I’m more important than the others. We can do without them.”
. . . and the flipside:
Falsehood #2: “I’m less important than the others. They can do without me.”
In Christian community, too, there is no MVP.
It’s easy to see how putting others down can damage a team. But putting yourself down is just as damaging. In fact, the Bible addresses that issue first.
Antidote for Falsehood #2:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. . . . Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
– 1 Corinthians 12:12-16, NLT (emphasis added)
Antidote for Falsehood #1:
If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
– 1 Corinthians 12:12-21, NLT (emphasis added)
You are needed. You . . . and you . . . and you . . . are needed.
Crossbeams teaches this.
Charles Sharman, Crossbeams inventor, created a Team Build concept for several large designs.
Last week, members of the local library’s MiniMasterminds STEM club accomplished the Crossbeams Team Build for the Saturn V (pronounced “Saturn Five”), the rocket that took us to the moon.
Each child built one of twelve modules.
We collected the completed rocket sections . . .
. . . and connected all twelve modules. Once the builders (and the adults who accompanied them!) realized how big the finished rocket would be, you could hear the room stirring in increasing excitement.
“Wow, do you realize how huge this thing is going to be?!”
“I told you this was going to be really cool!”
“This is gonna be taller than I am!”
“Taller than the tallest person here!”
The end result was seven and a half feet tall.
It takes the fastest Crossbeams builder about two and a half hours to build the Saturn V by himself. But in this Team Build, twelve beginners who had never seen Crossbeams before finished it in 75 minutes.
Discussion questions concluded the event. Some were:
Q: How can beginners beat the fastest Crossbeams builder?
“We all did it together!”
Q: How did your own part look compared the completed rocket?
“Mine was pretty big, and looked pretty cool, but it was way cooler to see the full rocket at the end.”
Q: How important was your part in building the rocket?
“Very important. . . . The rocket wouldn’t have worked without every part.”
Team Builds by Crossbeams, made by a company named after the Golden Rule, emphasize teamwork, the importance of everyone, and a well-engineered end-product everyone can be proud of.
For further reading:
The Crossbeams Team Build Concept (includes Team Builds Instructor’s Guide)
Seven:Twelve Engineering, the company behind Crossbeams
A summary of a previous Team Build event: Eiffel Tower (includes video)
The Story Behind Crossbeams
What sets Crossbeams apart?
Photo credits for the Saturn V Team Build event: Pikes Peak Library District, Rockrimmon Branch