How Would Jesus Develop Your Team? I have several mentors. I have even met some of them. Others I have not. A mentor I have never met personally but who has impacted me profoundly is Dr. Howard Hendricks. I heard him say something several years ago that still has significant meaning today. He said, “We have spent too much time studying the message of Jesus and not nearly enough time studying His methods.” His point was not to belittle Jesus’ message but to make much of the very practical nature of how Jesus developed His team.
The narrative of Luke 9 serves as an illuminating case study, revealing the practical aspects of Jesus’ transformational leadership in developing His twelve disciples. It vividly illustrates how Jesus instigated profound transformation within the hearts of those on His team. He accomplished this through the deep bonds of relationships, in real-time scenarios, and by employing practical steps that could be replicated. In the passages that follow, we shall delve into the methods used by Jesus as He nurtured a community of believers who lived life together and, through their shared experiences, grew spiritually and as a cohesive team.
- Jesus sent them out as His representatives (9:2), entrusting them with His authority and mission.
- He gave them genuine opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God (9:2), allowing them to participate in His divine work.
- He equipped them with the necessary tools and resources (9:1), ensuring they had everything required for the task at hand.
- He gave them clear instructions and guidance (9:3-5), leaving no room for ambiguity in their mission.
- He allowed them to debrief and celebrate their experiences (9:10-11), fostering a culture of reflection and celebration within the team.
- He exposed them to God-sized visions (9:12-17), expanding their perspectives and faith.
- He assisted them in processing personal and ministerial change (9:18-27), addressing their doubts and fears with care and wisdom.
- He kept their focus firmly on the heart of the mission (9:28-36; 51-56), emphasizing the core purpose and values of their work.
- He engaged them in His practice of prayer (9:28, 37), teaching them the significance of communion with God.
- He demonstrated the importance of unity when addressing team conflicts (9:46-48), fostering a harmonious working environment.
- He guided them in developing a Kingdom perspective (9:49-50), encouraging them to see the broader picture beyond their immediate circumstances.
- He offered guidance on time and priority management (9:57-62), teaching them the significance of discernment in their choices.
When examining this list, one might initially assume it to be a compilation from prestigious business publications such as Fast Company or The Harvard Business Review. This striking resemblance to contemporary leadership and team development strategies underscores Dr. Hendricks’ assertion. Consequently, if we ponder how Jesus would develop their team, the conclusion is that He would likely immerse Himself in their lives, provide them with opportunities to advance His Kingdom, equip them with the tools and knowledge they need, and offer clear guidance. With these foundational principles, the journey toward team development would unfold, just as it did with the twelve disciples.