I’ll always remember him—my high school baseball coach, Robert Turnberger. I heard he paid a sports reporter to spell his name correctly. In 1962, our team won the South Jersey Region 2 title under Coach T’s leadership. We were THE Pleasantville High School Greyhounds and we were the best. No brag, just fact!

No team outplayed us.

No pitcher outpitched our pitchers.

No coach outcoached Coach Turnberger and his assistant Maxwell Manning.

The ‘Hounds weren’t a mass collection of superstar athletes. The only “star” on the team was the team. Coach took what he had and built us into a winning unit. Everything we did we did as a team. We played as a team on the field and teamed together off the field.

We sat next to each other in classes, studied and ate lunch together.

We never left the locker room for practice unless we went together.

We even had team songs, which we knew better than the school alma mater.

We were a team and we were successful.

When servant leadership becomes your life, you discover leadership is a team effort, not a one-man show. No one person is as strong or as smart as all of us together. SERVANT LEADERS COMMIT THEMSELVES TO BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH A SHARED VISION, PURPOSE, AND METHODS.

Vision may be initiated by an individual (a pastor, coach, president, supervisor, manager) but vision is best fulfilled by a team which shares the vision. A leader’s vision is only as good as the team that fulfills it.

Coach T embraced a vision for us to be the best team in South Jersey in 1962 and we were. We shared his vision and fulfilled it.

God believes in teamwork.

The Trinity is a team: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Exodus 18: Moses’ division of labor

Gideon’s 300

David’s Mighty Men

The 12 Apostles

The Missionary Teams of Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas, Barnabas and John Mark.

Paul established leadership teams of elders and deacons after he planted churches.

How wise are Solomon’s words to servant leaders: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 10.


Peter Drucker wrote:

“Effective leaders never say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job is to make the team function. They accept the responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit.”

Coach T. would agree.

Next time, we’ll begin looking at the great traits of a great team.


Fred Campbell is the President of Living Grace Ministries and the former pastor of Grace Church of Ovilla. He can be reached at fred@livinggraceministries.com OR www.livinggraceminsitries.com