A photograph showing a diverse group of people, holding hands in unity and cooperation, symbolizing the biblical message of working together for a common goal.

What Does The Bible Say About Working Together?

Working together with others is a key theme throughout the Bible. God designed us for community, and Scripture provides wisdom on how we can effectively collaborate, avoid conflict, and accomplish more together than we could on our own.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible encourages unity, being of one mind, living in harmony, bearing one another’s burdens, and using our diverse gifts and abilities to serve each other and build up the body of Christ.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore Bible passages about teamwork, unity, using our spiritual gifts, avoiding division, managing conflict, and valuing diversity. We will provide context for these verses, expound on their meaning, and explain how we can apply biblical principles to working together in a godly manner today.

Old Testament Examples of Teamwork

Israelites Building the Tabernacle

The book of Exodus provides an early example of teamwork in the Bible, as Moses instructed the Israelites to come together and build the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary where God would meet with His people (Exodus 35:4-35).

Every person was invited to contribute their skills and resources, whether metalworking, sewing, or donating materials. The response was enormous – so much so that Moses eventually told them to stop giving!

By working cooperatively, with each person carrying out their assigned tasks, they completed an incredible project for the glory of God.

Men and Women Working Together

Another example of cooperation in the Old Testament is when men and women worked together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah’s leadership (Nehemiah 3). Scripture specifically notes the contributions of Shallum, his daughters, and other women who helped repair the gates and sections of the wall alongside their male counterparts.

Despite traditional gender roles of that day, Nehemiah valued and included women’s participation. This inclusive approach enabled them to speedily finish rebuilding the walls in only 52 days, protecting the city from opponents who sought to thwart their progress (Nehemiah 6:15).

New Testament Directives on Unity

Being One in Christ

The New Testament contains many exhortations about unity among believers. Jesus prayed that his followers would be one just as he and the Father are one (John 17:20-23). This oneness is made possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who unites believers to Christ and to one another (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

Paul urged the Ephesians to live in a manner worthy of their calling, with humility, gentleness, and patience, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-6). He exhorted the Philippians to be one in spirit and purpose (Philippians 2:2).

Peter also wrote about being united in spirit, sympathetic, loving, and humble (1 Peter 3:8).

Living in Harmony

In addition to being united in Christ, believers are called to live in harmony with one another. Paul instructed the Romans to live in harmony with each other, not being haughty but associating with the lowly (Romans 12:16).

He told the Corinthians that there should be no divisions among them but that they should be united in mind and judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10). He rebuked the Galatians for biting and devouring each other over disagreements (Galatians 5:15).

James said that wisdom from above is peace-loving and considerate, leading to peace and righteousness (James 3:17-18). These verses demonstrate that unity involves humbly seeking peace with others, even when disagreements arise.

Carrying Each Other’s Burdens

An important way believers can maintain unity is by bearing one another’s burdens. Paul told the Galatians to carry each other’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). James encouraged prayer for one another so they could be healed and forgiven (James 5:16).

According to a 2021 survey by Lifeway Research, 61% of Protestant churchgoers say their church encourages them to build relationships with each other. By bearing burdens, confessing sins, and praying for each other, believers demonstrate Christlike love.

This fosters an atmosphere of trust where people are valued over issues. Unity is not about uniformity but displaying God’s love amid diversity.

Spiritual Gifts Given to Build Up the Church

Diversity of Gifts

The Bible teaches that God has gifted each believer with spiritual gifts to serve Him and build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). These diverse gifts work together like parts of a body, with each playing a vital role.

Though we have different gifts, we are unified in purpose when we use them out of love (1 Corinthians 13).

Some examples of spiritual gifts include teaching, service, encouragement, generosity, leadership, mercy, evangelism, and more (Romans 12:6-8). God wisely distributes gifts so that all needs in the church are met.

For instance, some may be gifted at teaching sound doctrine, while others excel at showing mercy. Both are essential!

Using Gifts to Serve One Another

We are to steward our spiritual gifts well so that other believers are served and built up (1 Peter 4:10). For example, those with the gift of hospitality can provide meals or housing to those in need. Those gifted at encouragement can send uplifting notes to the sick or discouraged.

When we share our gifts, the church grows stronger.

We all have a part to play in blessing the church. Even small acts of service are significant when done out of love for God. Whether setting up chairs, rocking babies, or sweeping floors, we can serve wholeheartedly as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

Our unity amidst diversity displays the all-encompassing love of Christ.

Avoiding Division and Dissension

Guarding Against Factions

The Bible clearly teaches that Christians should strive for unity and avoid divisiveness within the church. One powerful passage on this topic is 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, where Paul implores the Corinthian church to agree together and be perfectly united.

He urges them to avoid quarrels and factions, stating “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor 1:10).

This shows that unity among believers is vitally important.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul also addressed the danger of passing judgment on fellow Christians over disputable matters, rather than accepting one another. He wrote, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters… Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom 14:1, 19).

Here, Paul encourages believers to avoid quarrels and pursue peace, accepting one another despite differences.

Additionally, Paul warned the Galatian church against the damage factions and divisions can bring, stating “if you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15). This strongly cautions against dissension which can tear apart a church.

Seeking Peace and Mutual Edification

Along with guarding against factions, the Bible encourages believers to make every effort to maintain unity and peace. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3).

He implored the Corinthians “agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor 1:10). These verses demonstrate that maintaining unity requires effort and intentionality.

An important way to preserve unity is to build others up, rather than insisting on our own way. Paul instructed the Romans, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom 14:19).

Similarly, he told the Ephesians, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph 4:29). Edifying speech and conduct prevents dissension and cultivates unity.

Of course, Christians will have disagreements at times. However, the Bible encourages believers to “agree to disagree” on secondary issues, while maintaining love and unity. Paul wrote, “There is one body and one Spirit…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all…” (Eph 4:4-6).

Our shared faith in Christ and God’s Word is the foundation for unity amidst disagreements. As Christians, we must diligently guard against divisiveness and make every effort to maintain the unity that comes from God’s Spirit.

Managing Interpersonal Conflict

Overlooking Minor Offenses

The Bible encourages believers to be patient and forgiving with one another, overlooking minor offenses when appropriate (Colossians 3:13). As Ephesians 4:2 says, we should be “completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

However, some offenses are too serious to simply overlook.

Confronting in Love

When confrontation is necessary, it should be done in love, not anger (Galatians 6:1). First, pray for wisdom and discernment. Carefully consider if this offense is significant enough to confront. If so, go privately to your brother or sister and share your concern gently and respectfully (Matthew 18:15).

Avoid accusing or attacking. The goal is restoration, not punishment.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

After confrontation, the offending person may be repentant and seek forgiveness. If so, we must be quick to forgive, just as God forgives us (Ephesians 4:32). Forgiveness may lead to reconciliation and restored relationships. However, in some cases the person may remain unrepentant.

We should continue praying for them, but healthy boundaries may be necessary if trust has been broken.

The Bible is full of practical wisdom for managing conflict among believers. The keys are patience, gentleness, respect, discernment, forgiveness, and love. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can apply these principles to disagreements in our relationships and ultimately build harmony within the body of Christ.


The Bible provides abundant guidance for working harmoniously with others for God’s glory. As we walk in humility, patience, and love, our diverse gifts and perspectives can complement each other and build up the body of Christ.

By studying Scripture, we gain wisdom for teamwork, unity, conflict resolution, and valuing each member’s contribution. When we apply biblical principles on cooperation, we can reflect the character of Christ and accomplish more in service to Him together than we could alone.

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