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Leadership – Leading Teams

The past few weeks I have shared the principle that effective leadership starts with first learning how to lead yourself, then learning how to lead another person – one on one. The next level in a leadership ladder is knowing how to effectively lead teams.  This is moving from discipleship to building and directing ministry teams.  Not surprisingly, Jesus is our best example of how to build effective teams.  It began by recruiting the right people to join his team.  When Jesus called his disciples to follow him, they certainly were not mature, complete leaders ready to change the world.  Therefore, he poured himself into the work of developing them into world changers.  What he provided for them in the three years they followed was first, clarity of mission.  He helped them grow in their understanding that he was on mission to establish the kingdom of God through his life, teaching, death and resurrection.  And he was on mission to help people enter into this kingdom through the proclamation of the gospel and the making of disciples in every nation.  Every team or ministry you lead needs to have clarity of purpose and strategy to bring it about.  Without clarity there is confusion, frustration, and stifled accomplishment.  The second thing teams need is competency in the work they are asked to do.  Jesus spent time teaching and training his disciples.  He modeled his ministry before them and then asked that they emulate it through group projects.  At one point he sent out 70 on a mission assignment and then called them to come back and debrief their experience.  At the end of his earthly ministry his disciples were ready.   Before he ascended into heaven, he finally authorized and deployed them to go and take the gospel into all the world.  They had clarity, developed competency, and now was given control to carry out what he called them to accomplish – the Great Commission.  The goal of leadership is not to take and wield control, but to call others to join you to successfully achieve worthy goals as a team.  A leader is successful when they provide a clear mission for the team, developing sufficient competencies within team members, so together they have confidence and control to accomplish the tasks the group has been purposed with.  Eventually the hope would be that those you develop and deploy will turn around and do the same for others. – Dr. Gary Mathes