TEAM BUILDING in the HOUSE of GOD: "For we are God’s fellow workers" (1 Corinthians 3:9)
A careful study of 1 Chronicles 9:10-34 reveal that there were specific responsibilities assigned to different people to work in God’s Temple in Jerusalem, which was according to God’s plan and the abilities of the people to do the work. They belonged to the tribe of Levi – the tribe that God had chosen to serve Him. They all worked as a team so that the temple of God could operate smoothly for the rest of the tribes of Israel. These were the categories of the people of Levi who worked in the temple of God:
- Priests (v. 10-13): They performed the priestly duties within the temple, and "were very able men for the work of the service of the house of God." (v. 13b)
- Levites (v. 14-15): They assisted the priests to perform their duties within the temple.
- Gatekeepers (v. 17-27): They provided security service both for the camp of Levi (v. 18) and the temple as they provided security for the treasuries kept securely inside (v. 26). "And they lodged all around the house of God because they had the responsibility, and they were in charge of opening it every morning." (1 Chron 9:27)
- Those in charge of the serving vessels (v. 28) – they brought out the vessels and put them back after counting them.
- Those in charge of the furnishings and the implements of the sanctuary (v. 29a)
- Those in charge over the fine flour, wine, oil, incense and spices (v. 29b)
- Sons of priests who prepared the ointment of the spices (v. 30)
- Those in charge over the things baked in the pans (v. 31)
- Sons of the Kohathites who were in charge of preparing the showbread for every Sabbath (v. 32)
- Singers – who sang in the temple day and night (v. 33). They "lodged in the chambers, and were free from other duties; for they were employed in that work day and night." (v. 33)
There is a spiritual application for our lives in seeing how work was assigned in the temple of God. We are called to be a holy priesthood “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). We are also a royal priesthood called to "proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). As the priests of God, we are God’s fellow workers to work in the house of God, the Church (1 Cor. 3:9). We are stewards of different talents that God has endowed upon us and must contribute to God’s work and to the upkeep of the Church. God has given everyone gifts and abilities that we need to use as a team and work effectively without any dispute or murmuring. We should pursue the same goals that God has instituted for the Church and make effective contribution to benefit the team.
We need to work in team harmony and mutual care, not competing but complimenting each other so that the Church will be built in the fashion that God intends it. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Eph 2:19-22)