Picking a Team

[Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve.
Luke 6:12-13

Putting a team together is not the easiest thing to do.

In gym class, you would just line everyone up and have them count “1” and “2” and the “ones” would be on one team and the “twos” would be on the other.

On the playground the two best athletes – or the two most popular kids – would self-designate as captains and then begin to pick, one by one, who would be on their teams. And we’ve all heard stories – or experienced it first-hand – of being picked last. “You take him.” “No, you can have him.”

In the sixth grade, I felt the joy of being picked first for a basketball game. Of course, I was one of the tallest kids in sixth grade. But I was only picked first that one time. Because after that game it became abundantly clear that I was, at best, a mediocre player.

Serving as a pastor in a congregation, I don’t counsel the leadership of a church to pick people to serve in ministry this way at all!

When they want to call a new teacher, youth director, or a second pastor, I counsel them to put together a call committee, have them gather information and paperwork on several candidates, and set up interviews with these candidates.

But the most important thing I have them do – and the very first thing I have such a committee do – is pray.

Prayer in such a circumstance has at least two outcomes. One of them is that it tends to align the hearts of the committee into the same direction and purpose. Another is to help them understand that they are instruments of the Holy Spirit who is the one really doing the calling.

Like most, if not all, areas of the church, the Holy Spirit puts exactly who he wants in each position at that time. We the people of the church don’t always understand what the Holy Spirit understands, which is why prayer before hand is so important. As a calling body we need to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and we need the Holy Spirit to put all of us on the same page, his page!

Early on in Jesus’ ministry, he would set apart twelve men to be his core group of disciples/apostles.

They would be “disciples” in that they would be learners and he would be their teacher (“rabbi”). They would be “apostles” in that they would be sent by Jesus first into Israel and then into the entire world to proclaim the Gospel.

Of all the people who followed Jesus – and there would be hundreds by the end of his earthly ministry – how would he choose twelve?

The Gospel of Luke tells us specifically that Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.”

He prayed all night long about the twelve men he would choose as his disciples/apostles.

All night!

When a congregation’s call committee gets frustrated that the right person just doesn’t seem to be coming along in which to fill a vacant ministry position, remember that even the Son of God took an entire night to pray about his vacancies!

The Holy Spirit chose Jesus’ twelve men and he will also guide you in his choice for your positions! He knows exactly who is best to fill that position and we need to trust the Holy Spirit!

Make that your starting prayer!

©2017 True Men Ministries


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