In John 1, I see three more principles. When Jesus began to organize a team, He used practices that may be helpful for us today, especially those of us who are leading teams during a transition or startup phase. Recruiting the right people is paramount to the success of any organization, and Jesus obviously was the best.
Here are three examples of Jesus’ recruitment methods:
1. Recruit transitional people. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and then of Jesus (John 1:35-40).
When developing a team or starting a new team, it’s good to have someone with experience in what you are doing. You need individuals who know how to do what needs to be done, who have learned how to follow, who can be influencers to the rest of the team and who have proven their loyalty. These people are valuable assets to any team.
In my current role, the associate pastor offered me his resignation before I arrived. He had been at the church 15 years or so and had weathered good times and bad in the church. I refused to accept it. Instead, I encouraged him to move into a larger office, gave him greater decision-making authority and worked to earn his trust. He has been invaluable in my success at the church.
2. Allow the team to help recruit the team. Andrew found Simon; Philip found Nathanael (John 1:41, 45). Apparently, Jesus allowed some of the disciples to help recruit other disciples. The team helped add to the team.
This is a great reminder when you are building a team, adding other team members or replacing a team member. Get your team involved in recruiting. Their support will increase for the new recruits.
When I arrived in this current position, I made sure I had hiring authority. I think it’s critical for a leader’s success. I would have been foolish, however, not to include others in the selection process, so I had several people interview and meet with the new staff members prior to them joining our team. They helped me by lending credibility to the new staff.
3. Recruit people who are ready for a challenge. Some of the disciples Jesus recruited were apparently already looking for the Messiah (John 1:38, 41, 45). They were ready for Him when He came, because they were already seeking something. Jesus recruited with big tasks—basically, “Drop everything else and follow Me!”
Obviously, I’m not Jesus, but I believe it is important when looking for new people on a team to find people who will buy into your vision as a leader, who will remain loyal over time and who are ready for a challenge. If you have to talk them into something or gain their initial trust after the hire, you’ll waste valuable time before they completely commit. (That doesn’t mean there aren’t deeper levels of trust to be gained, but initially they should be convinced this is where God wants them to be.)
One practice I have continually used in recruiting new team members is to talk them out of taking the position—after I’m sure they want the job and I want them to take it. I want to help them test their hearts. I want them to know the unique challenges ahead (as far as I know them at the time). I don’t hide anything, even the less than glamorous parts.
One of our newer staff members was told we were hiring on faith the first year. The budget did not support him, but we believed God would provide. He did. This was almost always the case when I was in a church plant. If they are still interested after they know all the downsides of the position, then I know we will make a great team.
Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.
For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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