Choosing a New Team Leader

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On this page let's put down a list of qualities to look for in someone who will be able to lead a new evangelism team somewhere.

Here is a list of qualities that Gunter Krallman identifies

Selection of the Right People

How do we select the right people for leadership training?

People are very different.

  • in scope. Exodus --- look for people who will cover 10 people, 100 people etc. Some receive 1 talent, some more. People do have different capacity for covering. Loren covers 10000 in Youth With A Mission.
  • people have different gifts
  • and temperaments --- consider Peter and Thomas. Extroverts and introverts, sanguine choleric...
  • cultural differences. There is a rapid internationalisation of the world. In any city get mixed races and cultural backgrounds.
  • preferred style of learning --- contemplative, practical, intellectual....

This is the spectrum of people we are dealing with.

What Characteristics Are We Looking For?

Many different qualities touted but in light of the many ask what is necessary and what is desirable? What basic qualities do we need to see before what is desirable. So Gunter's list of indispensable. (What sort of men was Jesus looking for? What sort of men were the disciples? Did He choose just anyone? I have a gift but I haven't been able to mentor everyone --- I have got it wrong.)

  • zeal --- cannot train anyone complacent with the status quo. Cannot train the interested, only the committed. It will take time to train. Those who are desperate to go on with God are the best to train. Dawson Trotman founder of Navigators was an excellent discipler. He asked, "What are you doing at 5am on Wednesday morning?"
  • faithfulness --- 2Timothy 2:2 Paul speaking to his disciple/protégé who will find faithful men to train others. Paul says to look for not able, willing men but faithful men. Don't want to invest in those who won't do it. It is death to the process if they won't do it. Paul praises the aspect of faithfulness. Perhaps that's why he didn't take on John Mark --- he had been unfaithful.
  • respect for the mentor --- they must respect or admire something in the mentor. If you can choose love or respect, go for the respect. Nowhere in the gospels did they call Jesus, Jesus. They called Him Lord, rabbi, master. How do we get respect? You either have it or you don't. It is the degree of godliness. It is not distance and the aura of leadership. It is godliness --- not into such things... It is not the buddy relationship that some leaders try to cultivate with their followers. Shouldn't have respect for the office but for the individual. Respect should be earned.
  • teachability --- they are open for divine truth. Don't want to get into theological debates. The disciples had a willingness to respond and be obedient.
  • servant heart --- a willingness for people to serve me. Not a selfish agenda but they want more than selfish greed.
  • leadership potential --- on top of natural gifts and potential
  • divine call to leadership --- if God isn't working in and through them I don't have time to give to them. It isn't to simply benefit the individual. Peter followed through the strategy of Christ --- Peter, Philip, Ethiopian eunuch, church planted in Africa.

Not everyone is suitable for leadership training. Very disillusioning for many. In the upper room it was 11 trained out of 120 and only one trained for significant leadership. How many sent out as scouts into the promised land? One. One son of Jacob. David trained 400 and only 37 heroes. It is wrong to think that whomever we are dealing with will be called to significant leadership. It is unlikely to be more than 10%.

Jesus wasn't open to just anyone. Mark 5:18-19 Gaderene man wanted to follow Christ and be one of His close disciples. He begged to follow Christ but Jesus sent him home. He saw something in the person of Christ or in His relationship with the 12 that he wanted. Christ sent him home to be an evangelist. Jesus wouldn't enrol him in His leadership programme.

Matthew 19:21 the rich young ruler. This young man must have led an exceptional life. It is the exact opposite of the Gaderene, Jesus wanted him, but he refused. Perhaps Jesus was open to accept him as a 13 apostle. He didn't fulfil the necessary requirements. Jesus didn't try to follow him up, "Do you want to think again about that."

One wanted Him and He said no, the other Jesus wanted and he said no. The main qualifications of leadership are of the heart. If they are not in place they are disqualified.

It is God who calls into leadership and gives the gifts to.

Not everyone we come across is God's prime candidate for leadership. Satan's prime weapon to destroy missions is people who aren't called there? Go after people who have God's hand on them.

Practical Suggestions in Choosing Leaders.

  • don't be blinded by outward appearance. Samuel went to Jesse's family and thought it was the older handsome one.
  • mustn't fear diversity. Don't be afraid if the person is very different. In the diversity, we grow. It is always two-sided.
  • don't avoid problem people. If Jesus had gone like that half the disciples wouldn't have made it! The sons of thunder!
  • don't cut out those more gifted than you. That is the insecurity we mentioned before.
  • don't choose for lack of weakness, but strength.
  • don't be in a hurry. The first encounter Jesus has with the disciples is in John 1. But in Mark3:14 He chose them to be with Him. The dates appear to be 14 months apart. He had ample time to observe them to see if they would be obedient and faithful. And they had time to see if Jesus would be the one to follow. It is a serious commitment.
  • don't take on too many. A bird only hatches as many eggs as it can cover with its wings. If you take on 8 and only do a good job with 2 it is bad advertising.
  • don't go for less than reproduction. Make it clear to the mentoree. "My vision is that you will be able to run a cell group and train another." That way when the training is done they will have the vision to reproduce.
  • don't neglect waiting on God about every aspect. Prayerfulness is extremely important.

Need an observation phase. Need to be in the right context to find the people --- travelling, ministering, looking about. Must be where the people are. Start a relationship, get to know them not just as spiritual beings but their kids, the food they like, what interests them, eat with them. Many things we ought to find out. As you get to know the person, assess the need. How can you help them. You are thankful for the material you have but must zero in on the mentorees needs. They will need different answers depending on their needs --- poor self-image, lack of faith, whatever. Only when their is confirmation on part of both sides that should proceed.

One problem is that we inherit the situation --- may be assigned assistant home fellowship leader --- but must still look for the right people. Find the most promising candidates.

Practically then may set aside the time to develop the mentoring relationship.

We will never find the time, we must make it. If you don't have time to train someone, ask how much time you spend on the car, the tv, the cat, swimming etc. We find time to spend on the things that are valuable to us. Business are quite innovative in finding time --- breakfast meetings, Saturday at 6am. If you develop a heart for this you will be able to make time. If there is no time then ask what governs your time. Rearrange priorities to reflect your values. Christ with all on His plate and agenda spent more and more time on the 12. Mightn't He have hired a great Roman amphitheatre? He didn't --- bless the many, build the few.

Team but No Leader? (Helping a Team Chose Its Own Leader)

Helping a Team Chose its Own Leader

Meet with the team and give them time to do the following:

Think of three 'projects' you have been involved in during the past 10 years that you both enjoyed and did well. Describe them in as much detail as possible.

Then ask them questions and listen to one another (and to God!). It may be obvious by the end of the discussion who should be the main leader --- if it really matters!

Ask questions to get at their:

  • role, especially their leadership role
  • the relationships with others while doing that thing, including team
  • what was the thrust/subject/nature/idea of the venture
  • what did they get out of it personally, what was in it for them
  • how were decisions made
  • what did you need other people for
  • whose idea/initiative was it
  • what was your relationship to the other leaders
  • what did you get out of it, what did you enjoy the most, gave you the greatest buzz
  • what leadership style did you exercise

And look at Team building