Jesus came to earth and showed us “how God would do things” and one of the things he did was to form his disciples into a team. It was only natural then for his followers to build and minister in teams as he had done. Even years later Paul created and ministered in teams. He writes, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Jesus used a team setting as a laboratory for instruction, an environment for kingdom values to be lived out, a platform for ministry, and a place for his disciples to experience belonging.
How to form a disciple-making team:
Jesus spent a night in prayer before he chose the twelve disciples.
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot. Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:12-15
Pursue those you want to be on the team.
Love pursues. To build a disciple-making team you must pursue each member in contrast to individuals applying or requesting to be on the team. Jesus pursued each person on his team. He invited a tax collector, a religious zealot, and fishermen to join him for a 3-year adventure.
Each team member knew that he had been selected and pursued by Jesus and that the other team members had also been singled out and pursued. The team had been carefully chosen to create the synergy that Jesus desired.
Ten years later Barnabas pursued Paul and then Paul pursued Timothy.
This summer I have watched the FBI and universities pursue my nephew because of his leadership qualities. Sad to say Christianity has not pursued him even though he is one of theirs.
Solidify the team by serving and loving each team member.
Jesus solidified the team by him serving and loving each disciple. As he laid down his life for each member the team became bound together. Watching my leader lay down his life for another team member changes my relationship with the leader and that peer. If my leader laid down his life for this person should I not also love him? Jesus had instructed his disciple to do for one another what he had done for them.
One of our leaders bought groceries for a college student that was in his group. That simple act was the defining moment that changed that student’s life and cemented in his own mind that he belonged on the team.