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How Apostle Paul Devised Team Management Way Ahead of Modern CEOs

Teams are not a toy, yet so many leaders treat them like a personal playground.
Time to think of how you would fare with the help of your own team. | (Photo: Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler)

Teams are not a toy, yet so many leaders treat them like a personal playground. A popular leader recently tweeted out, "It's foolish to go where the team can't take you. Change the team or change the dream. #leadership"

  • BUT, teams are MORE than a means to an end.
  • What about a 3rd option... develop people instead of treating them like tools for a job

Teams are more than a strategic toy so today I want to look at 6 characteristics of the teams Paul served with in the New Testament and how we can implement his approach for better team leadership.

  • First, Paul's approach to team development placed little emphasis on titles that distinguished him from his co-laborers. The synergy of roles defined through the use of giftings produces strong momentum for the team.
  • Second, Paul used the power of consensus leadership to develop teams. Consensus leadership does not preclude the need for good decision-making, but rather it places an emphasis on each person as an equal. See 1 Thes 2:6 "...we might have asserted our authority."
  • Third, Paul developed teams that he could trust with difficult decisions. He did not have to override their decisions because he relied upon his training and the equipping of the Holy Spirit to ensure that the church would stay strong.
  • Fourth, Paul demonstrated flexibility within team roles.
  • Fifth, following the example of Jesus, Paul knew that successful leadership was defined by the ability to invest in other people who could in turn invest in other people and establish a chain of generational leadership.
  • Finally, it is impossible to close this segment of today's show without mentioning the centrality of Jesus Christ throughout the mission of the church. The headship of the church was, and is, Christ alone who forms the thoughts and mission of the church.

Dr. Miller is currently Dean of Online Learning & Instructional Technology and Professor of Applied Theology & Leadership at Southern California Seminary in El Cajon, CA. In addition to his work at SCS, he is planting Reunion Church. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and 20+ years of pastoral experience. He has authored multiple books on church leadership, history, biblical theology, and most recently a book on shared leadership through eldership teams titled, Elders Lead a Healthy Family. Originally posted at

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