Team effort and synergy: As we start reading the book of Numbers, we see that God directs Moses and Aaron to take a census of the Israelites. "Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above--all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies” (Num 1:2-3). However, this was a gigantic task that both Moses and Aaron could not do by themselves. So, God told them: “And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father's house” (Num 1:4b). These twelve men “…were chosen from the congregation, leaders of their fathers' tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel” (Num 1:16).
So, Moses, Aaron and the twelve tribe leaders assembled all the people, and the census was taken by each head of family orally reciting their family ancestry on their father’s side from twenty year old and above individually (Num 1:17-18). The mammoth task of taking the census was done in order exactly as the Lord commanded (Num 1:19, 54). All the Israelites (except the tribe of Levi) numbered at 603,550 (Num 1:46) and the tribe of Levi were later numbered at 22,000 (Lev 3:39).
This task teaches us about team effort and synergy. A team is defined as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”. It is commonly seen that a team effort enables results that are far beyond its combined capabilities as individuals. This may be the reason why our Lord Jesus Christ chose for himself a team of twelve disciples for the great task of propagating the Kingdom of God and send them in teams initially (Luke 9:1-6). After this, Jesus appointed seventy other disciples and send them in teams of two to every city and place where He Himself was about to go (Luke 10:1). This may be the reason why the church today should be a team of believers working as many parts of one body (1 Corinthians 12) to spread the gospel all over the world. There is great synergy when people combine their efforts and work together as a team. "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few" (Matt 9:37). Let us join in the efforts of others to achieve great things for the kingdom of God!