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Jesus and His Team of Twelve By Donna Bostick

Learning to Build and Lead a Team Like Jesus

Jesus was a master at recruiting, building, and leading a team. We can learn many lessons from his life, and leadership is undoubtedly among them. He made himself the ultimate example and set the pace so they could lean, listen, do, and follow.

Here is a closer look at how Jesus influenced his twelve’s thinking, behavior, and development. Jesus was an effective steward for those three years. Consider his approach and how it compares to yours.

Jesus Prayed and Named His Twelve

 “Now it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer with God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”

Luke 6:12-16

Jesus Walked with His Twelve

 “And then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great multitude of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled by unclean spirits were being cured. And all the people were trying to touch Him, because power was coming from Him and healing them all.

~ Luke 6: 17-19

Jesus Trained His Twelve

Jesus trained the twelve through his teachings, commands, and prayers throughout the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus instructed them through the Sermon on the Mount to the clearing of the Tabernacle and many more. He was a master of being behaviorally specific.

In Mathew 10, when it was time to send them out, Jesus detailed what to take, wear, say, and do. Then, he set the expectations and instructed them how to respond if people received the words of life and what to do if they did not.

Jesus lived out before them what he preached through parables and miracles. He also used his teachings to encourage and comfort them. He wanted them to be ready for the challenges and the coming persecution. He thoroughly demonstrates the depth of forgiveness when Peter denies Him and the soldiers crucify him.

“Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

~ Luke 23:24

Jesus Invested in and Empowered His Twelve

Jesus invested and fully empowered his team. Then, he promised the Holy Spirit, who would continue to teach, remind, and guide them every step of the way.

Jesus charged them with the ultimate call to action. In it, he bridges the truth of his authority and obedience with the word – “therefore.”. Then he sealed it with a promise that he would be with them always.

This truth and his charge remain the same today for those who follow Jesus!

“Then, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

Matthew 28:16-20

What About Your Twelve?

Now, I challenge you to consider how you are following Jesus as a leadership role model. Is there a team you have chosen and are praying over today? How are you investing in them? How are you empowering them to do more than they ever imagined? What are you intentionally doing to increase your team’s competency and expand their capacity? How are you entrusting them to do the work that advances God’s kingdom on earth?

How are you following Jesus and teaching your team to do the same?


Donna Bostick is the Conference Engagement Coordinator for the Christian Leadership Alliance. She leads others by helping them connect with the Alliance community through advertising, exhibits, and sponsorships. She also oversees live and digital faculty communications!

Christian Leadership Alliance knows the importance of developing effective teams and the power of a shared experience. Therefore, we encourage you to bring your team to the Outcomes Conference 2024.

As a CLA member, you can bring your team using your Member Advantage – register four leaders and bring a fifth one for FREE. And there is no limit to the number of teams you can get.

Why can you even bring twelve when you register for ten and get two registrations for FREE?

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Wednesday, January 31, is the last day to register and receive the final early registration discount. Don’t miss this opportunity to equip your team and save!



What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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