How Jesus Built a High Performance Team

In all of history, there is no other leader that can compare to Jesus of Nazareth. He has more influence on the planet today, 2000 years after he walked this earth, than any other leader alive. The number of his followers is only increasing and it all began when he chose his first team.

Jesus picked 12 of the most unusual candidates to make up his prized team. They were made up of fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots and yet these twelve men set into motion the greatest movement this planet has ever seen - the Church! So what can we learn from Jesus and specifically in the area of developing a high performance team?

  1. Recruit the best people possible. (Luke 5-6) In Luke 5, Jesus calls the disciples to Himself. Jesus provided them with opportunities to encounter and experience Him. He interacted with them relationally and on their turf. He went fishing with Peter, James, and John. He went to a party at Matthew's house. And He personally recruited each of them.In Luke 6, Jesus cemented their calling. After spending the night praying, He appointed the twelve to be His apostles. They were now going to be recognized as His disciples. They were a part of His team. Recruit the best people using the 4 C's:

    • Chemistry John Maxwell said, “All things being equal, people will work with people they like; all things not being equal, they still will.”
    • Character Good character makes trust possible. Trust makes strong relationships possible. Strong relationships make mentoring possible. 
Jim Rohn said, “Good people are found, not changed.”
Capacity As you look at potential leaders, try to assess their capacity in the following areas: Stress Management - their ability to withstand and overcome pressure, failure, deadlines, and obstacles Skill - their ability to get specific tasks done Thinking - their ability to be creative, develop strategy, solve problems, and adapt Leadership - their ability to gather followers and build a team Attitude - their ability to remain positive and tenacious amidst negative circumstances
Contribution Some people possess the X factor. They are winners. They contribute beyond their job responsibilities, and they lift the performance of everyone on their team. Look for these people!
  2. Equip Your Team. (Luke 7-8) Remember, the definition of equip is simply skill development. After calling the disciples to Himself, He provided them with opportunities designed to build their faith. In Luke 7, He exposed them to critical teaching. They learned about having an eternal view, rejoicing, loving enemies, not judging others, and bearing spiritual fruit.In Luke 8, He allowed them to observe Him on the front lines of ministry. They saw Him heal people and raise the dead. They saw Him calm a storm. They also learned how to treat people by watching Jesus. They saw His love and compassion toward people who society shunned. He defended the worship of a repentant, sinful woman, and He referred to another woman as daughter. Show others how to lead. 
As the leader you must model:

    • Authenticity
    • Servanthood
    • Growth
    • Excellence
    • Passion
    • Success
  3. Empower Your Team. (Luke 9) After the calling and building phases, Jesus now turned ministry over to His disciples. He provided them opportunities to grow by serving. In Luke 9, Jesus sent out His disciples to do ministry together. They came back for debriefing. Perhaps Jesus sat around the campfire with His disciples and listened intently to their stories. It was a great teaching moment. Serving always is. Later in Luke 9, Jesus invited the disciples to participate in the feeding of the five thousand. He said to them, "You give them something to eat." They passed out the baskets and participated in the miracle. Empower others to do their jobs well.
 Here’s how it works:

    • Step 1 - I do it (competence).
    • Step 2 - I do it and you are with me (demonstration).
    • Step 3 - You do it and I am with you (coaching).
    • Step 4 - You do it (empowerment).
    • Step 5 - You do it and someone is with you (reproduction).

    President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

Jesus recruited the best people possible, then equipped and empowered them. He strategically and sequentially placed them in a position to move to greater levels of commitment and growth. His discipleship process was simple, it was not stagnant nor congested and it followed a repeatable plan. You and I can equip others in the same way. Let's get started today!

Question: Jesus didn't recruit the most obvious candidates for his team. They didn't appear to be superstars or even highly competent, yet they were the best. They're results proved it. Have you ever recruited a superstar and then ended up regretting your selection? What did you learn from this experience? You can comment in the "Leave a Reply" box below.