The Jesus Model For Team Care by Doug Franklin
Jesus placed a high value on love and care for the people on His team. He knew that a team that cared about each other was capable of much more than a team that had no concern for their fellow members. He worked hard to pass this value on to His disciples. To this day, people are won to Christ most readily when a Christian takes the time to care for them. As Christ-followers we need to care for each person on our team. In fact, the measure of our team care becomes the way others see Christ through our team. Leaders can care for their teams in three key ways:
Team Care Requires Direct Communication. Communication shows care. One important way that we can show others on our team that we care about them is to communicate effectively with them. It takes time and energy to communicate and this demonstrates a caring heart to others on the team. Direct communication is a great building block of team care.
Jesus was very clear and direct in His communication with the disciples that they should care for each other. He provided them an example of how to behave and then explained it to them so they could understand. In verses 15-17 Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Jesus communicated to His team the value of caring for each other.
Team Care Requires Value for the Individual. The team must never stop valuing the individual. Each member must have a value for the team. This is an essential element of teamwork. In the same way each member must have a value for the other members of the team.
If a team is going to practice team care then they all must commit to caring for every individual. This means that every person is valued for who they are – a team member – and not what they bring to the team. Our value in God and before each other is not dependant on what we can do, but on who we are – children of God. This may seem obvious, but think for a second about how well you carry this out. Is there someone on the team that you have a hard time caring for? It is normal to connect with some people more than others. That’s not what we are talking about here. Even if you don’t readily connect with someone you still need to care about them. When the team stops caring for individuals, team building stops.
Jesus demonstrated a deep regard for each of His disciples, including Judas. That must have been really hard. Why do you think Jesus did this? It was to show that we have no excuse not to care for every member of our team. If anyone had a good reason not to serve someone, it would have been this situation. Judas would in just a few hours betray Jesus to a horrible, painful death. Jesus, however, knew the value of each person on His team and chose to serve Judas anyway. We don’t have a choice. We must care for each individual on our team.
Team Care Requires Sacrifice . To truly care we must sacrifice. Team care is measured by the amount of sacrifice team members are willing to make for each other. Without sacrifice a team will never be able to reach its potential. Sacrifice is one of those things that is easy to talk about but hard to do. In order to sacrifice we must be willing to take less than we deserve, serve others around us, and give more than we think we can.
Jesus continually sacrificed for His team. To us sacrifice usually has limits. However, Jesus showed us a level of sacrifice that had no limits. He is the Creator of the universe, the Savior of mankind, yet He washed the feet of His followers. This was the job that was reserved for the lowest of the slaves and yet Jesus did this for his friends, His team. Jesus didn’t stop there, he went on to show how far he would take sacrifice. It would ultimately lead him to the cross.
Team care is an essential part of developing a high performance team. Understand that every team needs to grow in their level of team care. The disciples had been with Jesus for three years and they still didn’t get the importance of team care until he demonstrated it to them. I hope this session has given you a window into how your team cares about each other and what you can do to grow closer as a team. Continue to value each other and there will be no stopping this team.