Meism says “Me first.” It is the opposite of the weism that says “Team first.”
The danger of meism was so great Jesus refused to tolerate it on his team for even a moment. When the mother of Zebedee’s sons, James and John, asked Jesus if he would grant her sons positions of authority in his kingdom, Jesus made it clear greatness in his kingdom involved serving not being served (John 20:20-28). James and John erroneously thought their teammates were supposed to carry them on their shoulders.
On the night before his crucifixion Jesus prayed for future disciples–that means you and me. He could have prayed we would be strong in spirit or clear in presentation. Instead, Jesus said, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one” (John 17:20-21). He prayed we would be united–like a team.
A moment later he prayed something that clarified what he had just said. He requested, “That they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23). Jesus prayed we would experience weism at the spiritual level with each other and with the Godhead.
While I don’t understand how God can be one while existing as three distinct persons, I do understand that the Godhead exists as a perfect team. Each member knows his role and together they are one. While we can’t experience such perfect unity, it’s the standard we’re to strive for.
Whenever a team is pulling together we say, “They’ve really got spirit.” That sense of unity is a taste of what God wants to give every team. What I’m trying to establish is that the whole idea of a team flows from the nature of God. He is the very essence of a perfect team. The Father, Son, and Spirit all work together in harmony. I think our desire to experience “teamwork” is evidence of the fact that we bear God’s image. And he alone is able to help us relate to him and one another as the members of the Godhead relate to one another.
Weism isn’t something that happens naturally. We’re all a little like James and John–we’re more concerned with ourselves than with others. That’s why you must practice servant leadership and ask God to help your team lay aside personal agendas for the sake of the team and the dream the team is pursuing.