When I was a kid, we would designate 'captains' to 'choose up sides' when we wanted to play a sport. The dynamics of that were interesting. We would usually push to make the two captains the two kids we didn't want on the same team together. Basically, the two best players simply could not be allowed to join forces. Their opponents would lose miserably. Once the two best were separated, they got to pick alternately the members of their teams. We'd do some sort of random game to determine who picked first, like 'rock, paper, scissor.' Then the choosing would begin. Smart picks were not only based on athleticism, but also on skill, the demands of that particular sport, and 'chemistry.'
One has to wonder what the criteria were that Jesus used to pick His twelve apostles. As you follow them through the gospel story, you come to be acquainted with a bunch of prideful, impetuous, dense, ornery and ordinary men who frequently demonstrate a serious lack of 'chemistry.' However, tracing the story out further, we come to see (apart from the betrayer, Judas Iscariot) a team of courageous, devoted followers of Christ who turned the world upside down.
As leaders, we find ourselves in the position of having to bring teams together. What might we glean from today's text about the 'Jesus way' to create teams?
1. Choose your team; some volunteers may not be the right fit.
2. Empower the team; give them freedom, authority, power.
3. Know the team members by name. Connect. Respect.
4. Choose diverse team members for breadth and depth.
5. Give teams clear, specific, thorough instructions.
6. Model the attitude you want your team to adopt.
7. Discuss team strategy.
8. Identify the obstacles and risks.
9. Commit to ongoing support of the team.
10. Cast a vision of success and reward to keep the team encouraged in the face of adversity.
Pray: Jesus, help me to learn more and more about Your way of doing things and how Your ways can be translated into the stuff of my particular, unique life-work.