Principles for Choosing New Teammates
By Barry Werner
Effective leaders consider many factors when choosing teammates. Read Acts 1:20-26.
The suicide of Judas, the member of the team who had betrayed Jesus to the temple guards, left a vacant leadership position among the apostles. Using Scripture recorded from former God-appointed leaders, the remaining 11 Apostles decided they needed to choose a man to replace Judas. The apostles determined Judas’ replacement must be a man who had been with them through the whole time of Jesus’ ministry starting with His baptism and ending when Jesus was taken up to heaven after His resurrection. When they finally arrived at two qualified candidates they prayed and trusted God to show them which of the two was the correct person to replace Judas.
The criterion used by the disciples to choose a replacement leader for Judas seems a little sketchy but there are a few transferable principles to consider:
- Matthias agreed with Jesus’ message, His mission and the team. If Matthias was opposed to the message or the mission or how the team operated he had every opportunity to leave during Jesus three year ministry. He was an eye witness of Jesus resurrection, knew virtually every detail of how the team functioned, the role of each team member, and in all likelihood, demonstrated some respect for the leadership team or he wouldn’t have made the short list.
- The team knew Matthias’ true character. They had three years of personal experience, probably interacting daily, when the spotlight was not on Matthias. An individual may be able to temporarily act outside of their core truths at a job interview or for the short term but Matthias’ integrity and personal character were on display to the entire team for approximately three years.
- Matthias demonstrated some degree of humility or at minimum a compliant spirit. It would have been easy to become discouraged or even jealous when Jesus chose the original 12 to be His closest associates, men He would personally mentor, and he (Matthias) was not selected, yet Matthias continued to follow Jesus.
- Matthias demonstrated loyalty and dependability. He stayed with the team for about three years and even stayed with the team after Jesus’ death.
- The leadership team believed that Matthias was ultimately God’s selection. Once the team had narrowed the field to qualified candidates they prayed and allowed God to point to Matthias as His choice to replace Judas.
It is interesting that the Bible does not mention talents, background, education, public speaking ability, intelligence or any of the normal criteria leaders use to evaluate job applicants. Good leaders do not ignore the job description, education or experience but the great leader that is also wise will learn from the Biblical example of how Matthias was selected and also consider the intangibles.
Luke 22:25-27 “ Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”