Successful Teams Follow the Same LeaderBlog / Produced by The High Calling
In Luke 10, Jesus selects 72 team members and sends them out in groups of two. These teams are small enough to enter houses without burdening the hospitality of their hosts yet large enough to provide mutual encouragement, accountability, and emotional support.
Teamwork is more than working together. It's sharing each other's burdens. It's also sharing each other's joys when the time comes to retell the successful venture and bask in the rewards. A team shares both troubles and triumphs. Poor is the person who has no one to share with.
The first instruction (Luke 10:2) concerns potential team members. Jesus tells them to prayerfully request more workers to be sent out into the harvest. Why is this the first step? Maybe because …
- the recruiting process requires more time than other steps
- prayer helps create a favourable context in which to work
- prayer changes our own hearts and aligns them with God's
- realizing the interdependence of our team is critical to success
When we pray for more workers, we admit that our team is not complete. Despite what we think about our own qualifications, another team member may be better suited to the task. In our work, we all need to be willing to decrease, so that others can increase.
Jesus then instructs the teams to find a person of peace (Luke 10:6), someone chosen and prepared by God to receive them. In this case, it is a person favorable to their work and equipped to offer shelter and food. This person is a new partner. Partners like this may not be as knowledgeable about the task, but they have needed resources.
In fact, the disciples focus their work around this person of peace—their house, their food, their friends, and their culture. The original team of two can only be a temporary force in the neighborhood, but this person of peace will stay. This kind of teamwork requires trust and risk. The disciples gave themselves away and allowed the person of peace to take up the work of the team.
When the disciples return and report their success, Jesus is filled with joy. They will return to these cities at a later time and will hopefully find the nucleus of a favorable group following the way of Jesus. This is the bigger plan. This is what all the teams worked towards. They weren't competing to see how many "people of peace" they could sign up. Jesus didn't give awards to the team who worked faster or better.
Our teamwork should not be any different. Teamwork demonstrates the unity in purpose and mission that we all share in following the same Master. Our eye is not on the initial results but on the endgame, when all is brought together to the glory of one Master. At that time, he will hand out rewards.
Our Master is one, but he is also three. He is the Triune God. The Father glorifies the Son, the Son points to the Father, the Spirit reminds us of what the Son said. This cycle of selfless love gives us a model for professional courtesy and teamwork.
May this teamwork, reflecting the essence of Godhead, guide our own professional relationships.