Discovering Agreement, Unity, Abundance
By Ed Delph
January 10, 2022
A mother looked out a window and saw Bryson playing church with their three kittens. He had them lined up and was preaching to them. The mother turned around to do some work. A while later, she heard meowing and scratching on the door. She went to the window and saw Bryson baptizing the kittens. She opened the door and said, "Bryson, stop that! You'll drown those kittens." Bryson looked at her and said with conviction: "They should have thought about that before they joined my church."
Well, we can say that in this story, Bryson was really into 'task' and not too much into relationships. Bryson had accomplished 'task' at the expense of 'relationship.'
In today’s culture, we see this all the time. Someone wants to climb the corporate ladder and doesn’t care what they must do to get there. A media source wishing to win at any cost adopts an "end justifies the means" philosophy. They build themselves up by tearing down other opponents to advance their narrative.
Both examples above leave a carnage of broken relationships and twisted truths on the side of the road. Remember, the first victim of any war is the truth.
Living a quality life without constant drama requires awareness of relationships and tasks. The first couple in the Bible is an excellent example of a blended relationship with a task. “God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” Genesis 1:27-28.
God made us humans to be fruitful and multiply. The first thing that men and women learned about was the power and promise of 'right relationships.' God gave them the assignment of learning how to become “one flesh.” The two became one, and the one became many. Out of their relationship came a family and a community.
Then after 'relationship,' God gave them a mission, or what I call 'task.' God charged them with subduing and ruling the Earth responsibly. He entrusted them with a task after establishing their relationship. Notice: The two become one, the one became many, and the many do work, that is, accomplish the task God has assigned for them. Notice, relationship first, task second.
There is a powerful principle here. It's called: 'Agreement, Unity, Abundance.’ You see, it takes two parties with differing gifts to agree. If they can agree on their task, they move from agreement to oneness. Their oneness is for a purpose. When united parties work together to accomplish a task, it produces abundance or 'be fruitful and multiply.' Most successful corporations exemplify the 'Agreement, Unity, Abundance' principle. It takes two or three to agree. This example is called 'high relationship/high task.'
There are four ways of living life in terms of relationship/task.
The first example is people or organizations with high relationship/low task orientation. These people love or care for everyone or a cause but achieve very little. They have great hearts, but they will not change the world. They live in the idea realm. While this is admirable, it generally leads to more and more ideas with less and less chance of them ever happening. A vision unmanaged leads to frustration. They are right partially, and it’s killing them and their ideas.
The second example is people or organizations with a low relationship/high task orientation. In their world, the task becomes everything. Right relationships are a low priority for this type of person or organization. Often, this leads to utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the tendency to only stay connected with people if they function "for me or us" in meeting our needs. Hint: Don’t let your relationships be based solely on what others can do for you.
The third example is the low relationship/low task style. This group dislikes or judges everyone and gets nowhere. Generally, they are great people who have retreated into the self-made bunker of the critic. That’s sad because their existence is evidence that this generation needs something that only their life contains.
The final way of living is a high relationship/high task orientation. That’s how Jesus lived. And many other successful people and organizations have adopted Jesus’ style of living and leadership. High relationship/high task people finish the job well, build their marriage, family, business, team, or country, often with people of different views. And they can still get along. Opposites attract, then negotiate the differences if they understand the core value of relationships first, task second. God designed life this way.
In today’s world, many self-centered, emphasis-driven individuals, businesses, and leaders have lost their desire to work for right relationships with others with differing viewpoints. But conformity is no substitute for unity. Believe me. No one should get their way all the time. Arrogance isn't thinking too much of ourselves but thinking too little of others.
What if marriages, partnerships, businesses, cities, and countries aligned to God's pattern. The world would be an even better place.
Just think, from the beginning, God has been saying “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com