Posted on 01-Oct-2014
September 20th, 2014
What does the word TEAM mean to you? Almost spontaneously, I believe many of us would knit TEAM to mean Together Everyone Achieves More – or at least I would. However, many teams fail to achieve more because they do not have a clear understanding of the levels of relationship between team members. Either the members are not clear about what their roles and duties are or they just couldn’t work well with one another for some reasons that are known only to themselves.
In the Bible, we read of King David, as great as he was, anointed of God, could not have accomplished God’s purpose alone. He needed his mighty men and the rest of his faithful troops to pull it off. Even so, the Lord Jesus has not called us to be a bunch of isolated great people for His cause. It is a team effort. We are part of the Body, and every part is essential. True, not all of us can attain to the greatness of these mighty men. But we all are on the team, and we all have important tasks given to us by our Captain.
I can easily relate this working relationship as I too have my comrades in the Boys’ Brigade, in my beloved Company. For the past four years, I am thankful of the friends and the Officers that I have made in the BB. As Non-Commissioned Officers, we are promoted by our Captain, as the leader of the Officers Council, to help the Officers to run the Company. I remember my Officers would always tell me that Boys’ Brigade was started for the Boys and because of that, the Boys’ interest should be of great interest at all times.
David’s men were not unwilling conscripts who grimly fulfilled their duty. They were willing volunteers who served out of devotion to David. They were men of diverse backgrounds.
But they were all attracted to David. He was their hero and rallying point. In 2 Sam. 21:15 17, David, who was getting older by this time, grew weary in battle and was almost killed. But Abishai, one of the mighty men, slew the giant who almost killed David. Back to my Company, all of us come from different backgrounds. But we thank God for He has sent passionate Officers to lead us and I can proudly say that the Company has indeed grown from strength to strength for the past four years since the inception of BB in my school. All praises to God and we are grateful to those Officers and volunteers who have helped out in BB. As serving in BB is a voluntary work, not many would be willing to spend the weekend due to work and perhaps family commitments. Therefore, we as NCOs, should not take the Officers for granted but to appreciate them and should keep them in prayer that God will grant them good health and joy in serving the Lord in the BB ministry.
Looking back in my journey from a normal Recruit to Private and to NCO, I have indeed learned so many things from my Officers. I thank my Captain for giving me the opportunity to assume leadership role in my Company. Though it has been a great challenge, for example to lead in the front, to command a bunch of teenagers who are also my peers and friends, I would say that all these training have not only honed my leadership but helped to develop my self-confidence too. At the same time, I learn to relate to my fellow NCOs, supporting each other in all the projects and tasks given to us by the Officers.
When faced with the overwhelming odds, one of David’s mighty men, Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. (2 Samuel 23:8 NIV). He was David’s top man. Likewise, in the NCO Council, the Sergeant should be seen as the leader of the fellow NCOs. I could testify that my two Seniors, the then SGT Yip and SGT Jason, had shown us good example in leadership in the Company. Our Captain has always emphasized that as leaders, we have to lead by examples. Now that I wear that red sash too, I could finally understand how it feels to be the leader in the Council. I could not afford to slack. The expectations and demands sometimes would bog me down, but I need to tell myself to rise up above the challenges. As the saying says, winners never quit and quitters never win.
David’s mighty men, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised. We too have a king in the BB – our Lord Jesus Christ as the great Captain. As NCOs, we need to give our Captain and his Officers, our fullest support. As the Officers sacrifice their time to be with us in weekend, we should be willing to help to shoulder the duties of running the Company on every Parade. For example, we need to constantly follow up on our Members on daily basis and not just once a week when we meet during the Parade on Saturday. As peers, definitely we would be able to relate better with our Members than our Officers who are already so busy with their work commitments, meeting deadlines and expectations from their superiors.
Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed[c] in one encounter. Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. (2 Samuel 23 : 8 – 12 NIV)
The brotherhood of believers among David’s mighty men was so touching in the Bible. They stood alongside one another during the battle and hence God brought about victory to them! I am glad too I have strong support from my fellow NCOs. At this point, I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank my fellow Sergeant-at-arm, Wil Sern, for taking the initiative to plan and execute the many projects in the Company. Studying in private school comes with having to meet many deadlines in homework and class assignments. However, Wil Sern seems able to handle all these. I know sometimes he was just too tired to do anything, yet because of his passion in BB, he would pull through all the challenges. Many times, he has to clear the mess but never a word of complaint was heard from him. In fact, he would be the one encouraging all of us to stay focus. He is constantly thinking of ways to improve the Company. Whenever we could, he and I will text and update each other of what we need to do for the next parade. Most of the time, he would take care of logistics and I will look into the Squad Time.
Another NCO who is passionate about BB is Cpl. Yap Ming Yang who is taking care of the overall Members’ welfare. Although he is busy with his school prefect’s duty, he would always find the time to complete his duty too. For example, he took the initiative to supervise the filing for each squad, making sure the attendance and the details are properly entered in. Every parade, he would not fail to take all Squad files from the Anchor Room, file in the attendance and letters or medical certs from the Members and to put these back to the room after Parade.
Looking at the Drill side, I thank God for Cpl. Nicholas Ng and LCpl. Nigel Ng. They have really done a good job in their teaching of drills. From the beginning of this year, I have transferred to another school to continue my academic pursuit; Cpl.Nicholas especially has been the key person to train the Drill team for the March Past for Sports Day. And I thank God again for we won, for our third year, in the March Past Competition! The Members have indeed put in much effort in their practices.
Then on the Praise and Worship team, I thank God for two brothers – Cpl. Brian Eu and Cpl. Brendan Eu. They have been doing such a great job in leading the team in every Parade. These twin brothers are serving in their church too as musicians and worship leaders. Now, after two rounds of Praise Camps this year, the team is stronger with the addition of a new drummer on team – Private Matthias Inn.
Moving on, there is so much I could share about my fellow NCOs, and the list could be so long that it might bore you in reading. All NCOs in my Company have each been assigned to different departments and given specific duties and responsibilities. I am sure this is similar in all other Companies too. Before I end my sharing here, I would like to encourage especially all Members and NCOs to not take your Officers for granted. They are there for us to guide and coach us so that we will learn to be better leaders and so that BB will grow as a healthy and strong organization. Let us take time off sometimes to appreciate our Members, fellow NCOs and not forgetting our Officers who have taken their time off for us for all parades.