God has raised each of you up in your chosen area of leadership, to build a great team. I haven’t randomly picked you, but I’ve prayed and totally believe that God has chosen each of you to become leaders in your own field.
Each of you are really good at something, and I know your aim is to be the very best in your area, to produce the best “product”.
But the mark of a great leader is not the end product, it’s is how many great people will join their team.
Don Bennett was the first amputee to climb Mount Rainier. His testimony is simple—if you try such a feat with only one leg, “you can’t do it alone.” That makes a lot of sense. But what is not immediately obvious is that not just anyone can help. Bennett did not recruit his helpers from those who are apathetic or incapable. He built a team of people who wanted to climb a 14,410-foot peak and who could climb a 14,410-foot peak. One who attempts mighty feats had better be capable of recruiting a mighty team.
In 2 Samuel 23:8-17 we see King David’s team, the people he had raised up around him as he decided to build a great team. He had the mighty 3, the thirty and so on.
David’s team was comprised of “mighty warriors.” Because David attempted mighty things, only the mighty could keep up with him. Those who could not keep pace could not join the team.
This group was the highly celebrated all-star team of his battle-hardened warriors. Several things stand out as we consider how David pulled his team together.
1. FORGED IN BATTLE
First, David spent time with them in battle. These guys not only talked the talk, they walked the walk. These men were welded to David by the hot fires of battle. His inner circle consisted of men who had fought alongside him. He knew their capabilities because he had seen with his own eyes what they could do. And they’d witnessed what he could do, and were inspired by it. That’s how to build a great team.
Some of you here are starting to raise teams, working side by side with them. They will not be your clones, neither do we want the, to be. They will bring their own flavour, their own style to your ministry.
As you raise up your team, don’t reject those who are different or who do things differently. Embrace them, and ask God how to harness their skills to work for you. Remember, if you are raising a team of leaders, chances are they have strong personalities just like you. Learn to harness the power, not subdue it!
2. JOINED IN SACRIFICE
David sacrificed for them. When three of his mighty men risked their lives to obtain drinking water for him during a battle, David refused to drink it, choosing instead to pour it out onto the ground (see vv. 13–17). That act of sacrifice communicated a depth of devotion and love that had to have impressed those warriors.
As leaders you have proven your willingness to sacrifice to build a great team. You work hard, go out of your way, prepare and serve. You’re not slacker, or you wouldn’t be in this position.
So don’t be ashamed to ask others to step up and sacrifice too. Most often, if you’ve chosen wisely, you will find that they are willing and able to give sacrificially to the ministry.
3. CELEBRATED IN VICTORY
David enjoyed victory with these men. These guys knew how to fight and they knew how to win! Time and again David and his mighty men faced seemingly insurmountable odds and saw God deliver them.
And you will be seeing a few victories yourself, and when you empower your team and give them some space, I bet you’ll see and share a few victories there too as you build a great team.
There will be failures along the way also. Having a failure doesn’t make you a failure, when you give up, that’s the only time you truly fail. Failure is a part of growth, and your aim is to grow your team members.
And when you have a victory, celebrate it for all you’re worth.
4. HONOURED IN THE TEAM
Finally, David honoured them. These men were well known throughout the land as “David’s mighty warriors.” That phrase served as a banner that set them apart as extraordinary.
And your team will be honoured as they serve, and should be honoured by you. Make every meeting a fun time. Do little things to bless them. Leanne gave one of her team a gift the other day, a reward in front of everyone. Great idea. Honour your teams.
As you read this account, one thing becomes clear: David knew he couldn’t build a great team alone… he just couldn’t do it alone.
Remember, each of you are capable. Right now, you can probably do everything that’s required to make your portfolio function and even excel. But as the church grows, you’re going to become exhausted and burned out if you do everything all the time.
What are you currently doing to build and maintain a strong team? What are some things you could begin to do that would help those on your team feel special and appreciated?