(Unsplash/Hermes Rivera)

Do you work well alone? I don't.

Do you make mistakes? I do.

I love being a part of a team. With a team come people, and with people come mistakes.

Teamwork is essential for success, particularly in the kingdom of God. Sadly, the body of Christ has been so focused on individual calling and personal ministry that we have missed one of the greatest keys to spiritual momentum.

Think about Jesus for a moment. The majority of his ministry wasn't focused on personal aggrandizement or individual fulfillment. Rather, he was focused on investing in the 12—teamwork.

Let me give a quick example: My first book was published this past year, entitled Created to Believe, and it would never have been complete without a team.

I had tried to write books for many years but could never quite finish the project. Then one day, I asked my dear friend Stephen Kuert to help me with my ideas. His collaboration was awesome. Add the extraordinary help of my assistant, Rebecca Moore, to the equation, and we had our first final draft. Then I had Dr. Steve Greene and the Creation House team with their patience and fabulous attention to detail, and we had our book. In addition, there are five other names that could be added to this list but only one word summarizes the fulfillment of this project: teamwork.

One of the important traits of great leaders is the ability to build an effective team. Many leaders have mentioned to me that their greatest challenge is building their team. They say their greatest challenge in the ministry is when someone on the team makes mistakes. The devastation when a team member betrays you personally can alter the entire direction of a church. What is the key to such a challenge? I could share several ideas, but I am convinced that one characteristic in particular is paramount to this discussion: forgiveness.

Are you competitive? I am.

Do you keep score? I do.

Is it difficult to forgive when one of your team lets you down? Absolutely.

Forgiveness is a God-idea. Not only is it essential to our own personal salvation, but also to our leadership capacity. If you are in leadership I can guarantee that at some point, someone on your team around you is going to miss the mark.

Let me also add that it's rarely the grandiose blunders that trip up leaders. Rather, it's often the small things that build up, creating offense in our lives. Enter forgiveness. It is found as a powerful tool in the lives of great and godly leaders. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches His disciples and followers that God will forgive us as we forgive others.

Unforgiveness is personally corrosive and eventually deadly to vision. By contrast, forgiveness is life-giving and often creates an even stronger team around us.

Choose to forgive and your leadership will excel to new levels.

Choose to forgive and your personal life will excel to new levels.

Choose to forgive and your relationship with God will excel to new levels.

I pray that 2018 is full of blessings and forgiveness.

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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