Teams are not a toy, yet so many leaders treat them like a personal playground.  A popular leader recently tweeted out,

“It’s foolish to go where the team can’t take you. Change the team or change the dream.#leadership”

BUT, teams are MORE than a means to an end. What about a 3rd option where we develop people instead of treating them like tools for a job

Biblical teams are more than a strategy, so today I want to look at 6 characteristics of the teams Paul served with in the New Testament and how we can implement his approach for better team leadership.

  • First, Paul’s approach to team development placed little emphasis on titles that distinguished him from his co-laborers.  The synergy of roles defined through the use of giftings produces strong momentum for the team.
  • Second, Paul used the power of consensus leadership to develop teams.  Consensus leadership does not preclude the need for good decision-making, but rather it places an emphasis on each person as an equal. See 1 Thes 2:6 “…we might have asserted our authority.”
  • Third, Paul developed teams that he could trust with difficult decisions.  He did not have to override their decisions because he relied upon his training and the equipping of the Holy Spirit to ensure that the church would stay strong.
  • Fourth, Paul demonstrated flexibility within team roles.
  • Fifth, following the example of Jesus, Paul knew that successful leadership was defined by the ability to invest in other people who could in turn invest in other people and establish a chain of generational leadership.
  • Finally, it is impossible to close this segment of today’s show without mentioning the centrality of Jesus Christ throughout the mission of the church.  The headship of the church was, and is, Christ alone who forms the thoughts and mission of the church.

 

Study more about team leadership...

Elders Lead A Healthy Family is for current and future Christian leaders; church planters, missionary-planters, bi-vocational pastors, students, and all those interested in reshaping leadership. This book will appeal to readers interested in the organic church movement and young Christian readers frustrated with the celebrity-pastor culture.

Readers of Elders Lead A Healthy Family will discover the power of shared leadership to strengthen our leaders and transform our churches into vibrant communities of Faith as the book introduces them to a fresh approach to Church as a Family and the transformative power of biblical Eldership.

Dr. J.R. Miller’s Elders Lead a Healthy Family: Shared Leadership for a Vibrant Church is a refreshing alternative to the numerous familiar (and generally fruitless) attempts to baptize the pragmatic priorities of secular leadership theory into the waters of New Testament ecclesiology. For all the talk about community in our churches today, Joe reminds us that healthy relationships must begin at the top—with a community of leaders. This book is full of solid biblical teaching packaged in a winsome and appealing way, by a practitioner who has experienced the benefits of shared leadership first-hand. Elders Lead a Healthy Family ought to be required reading for vocational and non-vocational church leaders alike.

Joseph H. Hellerman, Ph.D.

Author of When the Church Was a Family

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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