Lessons from Avengers Assemble

The much awaited Avengers movies is now finally out and having seen the film I must say it delivers at every level. For those like me who have read the comics and seen some of the animations, it is a dream come true to see your favourite super heroes come to life in a blockbuster movie. Without giving too much information or details about the film, the storyline is about assembling a team of super heroes who are each in their own right leaders. The question is how do you make a group of these diverse super heroes, who are egotistical most of the time, work together to save the planet from foreign invaders? These super heroes are diverse; you have Iron Man (Tony Stark), skilled and impressive with technological advancement; you have Thor which mythology refers to as a god of Thunder and well equipped with a hammer to fight; you have Captain America (Steve Rogers) whose story is that of a legend who has fought in many wars as a super soldier and won; Dr Bruce Banner, both a scientist and the monster crushing beast when he becomes Hulk; and of course you have Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Black Widow (Natalie Romanova). It was that General Nick Fury, SHEILD’s director, had to assemble these super heroes in a desperate attempt to save planet earth. Did he succeed? Yes he did, but I am not going to give the details of how he did it.

As I watched this film, I began to think about team leadership. For any organisation in this world to succeed leadership is needed. Now there are different types of leadership, but the one I want to draw attention to is team leadership, that is, where you have more than one person leading and working together for effectiveness. So what are the lessons from Avengers for any leadership team?

For any team to function properly and work together there is the need for a common vision that all the members of the team can subscribe or sign up to. This is very important in order for the team to work together. If a member of the team does not buy into the vision the cracks will soon show and will cause problems. The Avengers had to learn this very quickly!

Personal agendas or egos must be submitted at the altar of togetherness in order to achieve the desired goal. The Avengers had to learn this the hard way. Working in a team means the vision or goal of the team becomes much more important than personal goals or vision of an individual.

It is important that every member of the team has something to contribute or else they will not feel a part of the team. Each of the team members also needs to support and look out for other members of the team. It is everyone’s job to look out, encouraged and support each other. This is very crucial if relationships must develop between the team members. The team members also need to praise each other whenever one of them has achieved an important task. This is good for positive feedback and team building. The Avengers clearly supported and encouraged each other at various times in the movie.

A team leader is needed to lead the team and cast vision or direction for the team. While it is true that everyone on the team is a leader and contributes something, there is still the need for someone to be the senior leader or lead person. This does not mean that this person leads all the time or has to do everything, but it means that there is someone who can direct or cast the vision. There will be times when this person has to submit to the authorities of others in order for a task to be completed. This will be happen because the team leader or senior person does not possess all the gifting to carry out a task, therefore they must allow other members of the team who are gifted in that particular area to take the lead as the need arises. To illustrate this Jesus, even though equal with the Father (Philippians 2:5-11), had to submit to the authority of God the Father in order to accomplish our redemption. This is very important for the team members because no one member knows it all or is sufficient. We need each other. The Avengers were individually capable and gifted but with the situation they were facing it was very clear that they needed each other. They also submitted to each other’s leadership although they had a team leader. The Avengers were successful in their mission only because they decided to co-operate and work together, teaching us the value of team leadership and the possibilities when people of diverse giftings come together in unity.

About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Queens Foundation, Birmingham and a trustee and visiting lecturer at Redcliffe College. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as the Media and Communications Officer with Churches Together in England. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies! They are blessed with one son, Iyanuoluwa (God's miracle)
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