The Value of a Team

There is a further thought that arises from yesterday’s accounting of the conflict between Paul Hume and President Truman.

For the bulk of his seven plus years in office, Harry Truman had the same press secretary. This man, Charlie Ross, had been a childhood friend of Truman’s, and had become a respected reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The importance of this appointment went beyond the ability of the man to handle the press. He was also able to handle Truman.

Just a few days before this controversy broke, Charlie Ross died in his chair at the White House from a sudden and massive heart attack. He was 65 years old.

Those who knew the relationship between Ross and Truman suspect this: that if Ross had been alive, the moment he saw Hume’s review of Margaret’s performance, he would have known what Truman’s response would be. He would have intervened and the letter would never have left the White House. He would have been able to have calmed Truman and brought sense to the matter.

In other words, Charlie Ross made Harry Truman a better man. That is a truism. Others make us better. In fact, to be all that we are capable of being demands having the right people around us.

Over the years, God has brought people into my life who have made me a better man. They are not the ones who agree with me necessarily. But they are the ones who know me, who stand with me, and when necessary, those who correct me.

Few men have all the gifts necessary for doing all that is expected of them. I know this is true in pastoral ministry. The greatest blessing for anyone in ministry is to be a part of a team of people who complement one another, who make each other stronger, and who can then be so much more useful for the kingdom.

(This is, by the way, the strongest argument for multi-staff ministry where that can be accomplished.)