Weird Teams Are the Best Teams

Mark Driscoll » Mission Church Leadership

This is a series on 11 Leadership Lessons from 12 Disciples, based on the recent sermon Jesus Calls the Twelve, on Luke 6:12-16.

Lesson #5: Weird teams are the best teams

Weird teams are the best because number one, they're fun, and number two, they complement one another. One of the great weaknesses in leadership development theory, and here's the truth, we like to read business books and leadership books, and I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review and Wired and Fast Company. I mean, I like it all, but the Bible and Jesus, that's where we really go to learn, and other things can help us learn about what others are thinking in leadership. Here's the big idea: if you have a weakness, should you work on it if you're a leader (this could be in ministry or business), or do you find people who are strong where you're weak? Conventional prevailing wisdom has been, you've got to work on your weaknesses. Maybe a little bit, but you know what? You need to find somebody who's better at things than you. Get a weird team of people who are really different. If everybody looks the same, watches the same TV shows, listens to the same bands, wears the same clothes, uses the same colloquialisms, has the same everything, you're probably in a cult. I just hate to tell you that, and the problem with the cult is you never know till the last day, and so it's kind of a disappointment. A weird team's the best team, right? Jesus' team is kind of a weird team. John's young, Peter and the other guys are older. John's apparently single. Some other guys are married and have kids. It's kind of a weird team. Eleven of them are country boys. One's from the city, Judas, didn't represent us real well. It's a weird team. On this team is a guy named Simon the Zealot, we read in Luke 6. He hates the Roman government because it's ruling over God's people, and he's kind of a punk rock anarchist kind of guy. He's a Fugazi fan. He's that guy. And so he just wants to overthrow the Roman government. He says, "I hate the government. Down with the government." He's got the anarchist patch on his sleeve. He's that guy. And then on the team as well is Matthew the tax collector, who works for the Roman government, ripping off God's people, and these two guys are on the same team. It's the antigovernment anarchist activist and the IRS auditor. Seriously? The guy with the gun, and the guy who tucks his shirt in, they're on the same team? Yeah, that's a weird team. That's a very weird team. Some of these guys are fisherman, one's a tax collector. At least four guys, we don't know what they did. Some are brothers, some aren't. It's a funky, little, weird team, but it works because they're different, and they compliment one another's strengths and weaknesses. Some of these guys had business experience, some had political experience. Some had leadership experience. Some of them already had pre-existing social networks and relationships. Just so you know this, the best teams are the weird teams. It's like our eldership at Mars Hill Church. Every once in a while in an elder's meeting, Pastor Jamie, he's the legal president at Mars Hill, he'll just kind of chuckle. And I've asked him before, "Dude, what's so funny?" He's like, "Look at this team, what a weird team." True, I look around like, this is a weird team. Forty-some pastors, nineteen more in training. Maybe we'll be at sixty by the end of the year, and it's like, nothing but Jesus could bring this team together. Some are jocks, some of these guys have action figures. I mean, those are two totally different teams. We have guys who tuck their shirt in, guys who don't tuck their shirt in. And you're not supposed to tuck your shirt in, by the way. But we can't make it a rule because legalists are wrong, so you get to do whatever you want, tuck your shirt in, don't tuck your shirt in. Some of the people on the team drink alcohol, some don't drink alcohol, some speak in tongues, some don't speak in tongues. Some are in their seventies, some are in their twenties, some are grandfathers, some are infertile. Some have a PhD, some have a GED—a "good enough diploma." It's a weird team, and if you walk in you're like, "What's up with this team? Ah, Jesus, brought this team together." It's a weird team. And people will ask, "How does this work?" Oh, when Jesus is the center, you get a weird team, because if you're Christ-oriented and not cause-oriented, you get community and not affinity.

Affinity vs. Community

If you're cause-oriented, you get affinity. All the people who agree with you come together. If you're Christ-oriented, people who disagree on a whole lot of things, they come together. That's actual community. What passes for community in our day is pretty much affinity. Everybody like me hangs out and does what I like. Community is people totally unlike me, who don't have much in common with me, come together with me, because we're Christ-centered. It's all about Jesus, and as we're all walking closer to Jesus as followers of Jesus, we happen to get closer together and become a team. That's what's cool about Christianity. You guys know this, in your community groups, your social networks, you're like, "Man, my Christian friends, I would never pick these people. I don't have anything in common with them—bipedal, upright—other than those two factors, we got nothing in common. But you know what? They love Jesus, I love Jesus, I love them, and together we make each other more sanctified, and together when we serve Jesus, it goes better, so praise God for a weird, diverse, collective team of different kind of people." So on our team, there are artists, there are accountants, people who are good with pictures, people who are good with numbers, all important, very vital. Weird teams are the best teams. You see that with Jesus. It's kind of a weird team. He's not picking the guys you'd expect, he's picking a bunch of no-names and nobodies. To be continued.

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