There’s an old adage:

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

I’m pretty sure there’s another one. At least there is for me:

Anything worth doing well is worth doing as a team.

And maybe better still:

Anything you want to do well, you’d better do with a team.

Last night, the team pictured above rallied to put on one heck of a show at Indian River High—the largest campus in our county. The event was one of our youth ministry’s LIFTED events, which mixes music, worship, drama, dance and video to support a Gospel message, concluding with an invitation to accept Jesus.

Here are a few reasons I resist doing things without a team:

They’re Smarter Than I Am

When things go wrong and systems fail, I want to be around people that are smarter than me. Or, at the very least, will look at things with different eyes. This allows problems to be treated with new solutions that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

We had a few unforeseen system integration audio issues during set up last night; work arounds came much faster because ideas were shared quickly and freely. We checked one another’s work and talked through some of the more complex signal paths. Because the teams trust each other and are not threatened, even people not on the audio crew were getting involved and doing their best to serve and troubleshoot.


When the pressure gets high, you need people around you who can make you laugh. The only other release for pressure tends to be rather destructive: you allow it to mount until you snap. And people or things usually get hurt.

Keeping things fun, even in highly stressful scenarios (and I’d argue especially in highly stressful scenarios) is absolutely critical. Dedicated, hard working people who have a lighter side, and know when to augment situational tension with a bit of levity are crucial for letting teams reset and keep things in perspective.

Humor is also a great way for you as a leader to let your team know you’re not drowning in frustrations when things go wrong. At one moment last night when things were especially difficult, I just decided to start dancing. No music. No beat. Just my moves (which are in themselves hilariously pitiful). It made people laugh and reminded us all to keep the main thing the main thing—our core message: we’re here to share the Good News of Jesus with teens.


At the end of the day, saying, “I did all that,” gets rather boring. Not because you’re suffering from a lack of ideas, but because you have no one to share it with.

Doing things together means more people are taking pride in what’s happening. And people that do things together end up building stronger bonds because of the process.

This sense of community not only makes the end product more vivid and colorful, but it’s essential in spreading whatever core message you’re attempting to promote.


Doing things as a team says to history, “We were here. We had something so important to say that we needed many voices to say it with.”

May history never forget us and the future never forsake us.

What are some of the favorite teams you ever worked with? What made them special?



Erica D Lehman · 15 Jan ’14 at 9:50 am

I remember at one of the JCC student lounge concerts, you made fun of your dancing. I know what you mean. I did a team project in college and one of my teammates messed us all up. He didn’t do too good on his part and dragged our grade down.

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Jan ’14 at 11:48 am

    This is one of the inherent risks with relying on teams: anyone can fail, and thus adversely effect the team. However, the fear of failure should never be the defining factor in whether or not to use a team. Rather, this is a prime example of where to implement sound leadership and organizational judgement.

    If it was a one time accident, well, anyone can make those. But if someone was given authority or responsibility beyond their capacity and demonstration of proficiency, then that’s a leadership issue, not a team issue.

jenniferhopper · 20 Jan ’14 at 11:52 pm

Too true. Great post and what incredible opportunities we are having in the schools!

    Christopher Hopper · 21 Jan ’14 at 8:42 am

    Thanks, babe. So grateful for the place God has put us in to reach so many for his glory. Love doing this together.

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