What can we learn about leadership and influence from Paul?
In the first century, Paul assembled and mobilized a team of gifted leaders who worked together for the common purpose of sharing Christ with the world. We mainly hear about Paul, but who were the other members of his team and what roles did they play? Understanding the spiritual outlook and organizational temperament of Paul’s team provides wisdom and inspiration for anyone who wants to be a more effective influencer for Christ. Even if we don't view ourselves as leaders or hold some sort of leadership title, we all have influence and the accompanying charge to honor the Lord in how we use it. - From Paul and His Team
Most Christians know something of the Apostle Paul’s life and ministry, but what about the incredible team of influencers he assembled and mobilized? Who were they, and how did Paul lead this team to accomplish God’s purposes? Even more, what can we learn from their successes and failures, and how can we imitate their qualities?
These are the questions that inspired Ryan Lokkesmoe, PhD, to write Paul and His Team. Like a church-ministry version of Team of Rivals, it reveals important principles about leadership and influence by showing how this early ministry team:
-Adapted to cultural, doctrinal, and interpersonal challenges
-Found common ground with their audiences
-Led baby believers toward maturity
-Stayed united despite differing opinions
-Equipped others for the work of the ministry
-Conducted their lives with self-discipline
-Built and maintained strategic partnerships
-Navigated sensitive cross-cultural situations
-Persisted through difficulty, frustration, and fractured relationships
-Persevered when ministry was discouraging
-Developed leaders to replace them
Whether you are in a position of leadership or are simply an engaged disciple, you are an influencer God is using to build His church. And while Paul and His Team certainly reveals a lot about Paul's character as a leader, it also highlights both prominent and obscure members of his team to offer a textured portrait of the early church’s influence in spreading the gospel.
Let’s learn from the men and women God used to build the church, letting them shape our leadership and influence as we continue their work.
*Includes group discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for a church-staff or small group study.
PRAISE FOR PAUL AND HIS TEAM
We can learn so much from the lives of the earliest Christ followers—a small group of ordinary people who, obedient to God’s leading, propelled the spread of faith that now circles the globe. In Paul and His Team, Ryan Lokkesmoe gives us a fascinating look into the hearts and actions of these pioneering believers, yielding valuable insights into how we, too, can be salt and light in a challenging world.
-Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S. and author of The Hole in Our Gospel
Ryan Lokkesmoe explores the real-life implications of how the body of Christ is supposed to work together to fulfill the Great Commission. In a day and age where there is far too much emphasis upon upfront leaders and not enough on the power of a team, Ryan offers a helpful contribution that is both accessible and scholarly. If you are a leader or part of a leadership team, you will find his insights helpful.
-Larry Osborne, Pastor and Author, North Coast Church
Popular-level leadership manuals abound. Many Christian manuals exist as well, often prooftexting principles initially derived from sources other than the Bible. Ryan Lokkesmoe carefully studies Paul and his coworkers, fully abreast of the highest levels of scholarship, and discovers principles that really are in Scripture! But he wears his learning lightly and writes with the heart of the church planter that he currently is. Easy to read and highly recommended.
-Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Ryan Lokkesmoe has given us a fresh window into Paul’s leadership and influence, focusing on the team he recruited, developed, entrusted, and unleashed. While Ryan has the academic credentials to give us a deeply theological understanding of the life and ministry of Paul, this book is not merely theoretical. Ryan has not simply studied these topics in the classroom; he is also a practitioner who has learned these valuable lessons in the trenches of real-life ministry.
-Heather Zempel, Author of Amazed and Confused and Community Is Messy
Ryan takes a powerful yet practical look at not just the apostle Paul, but at Paul’s team, as it applies to leading in the church. If you are a leader, the people and team you build are critical to moving the mission of the church forward. In Paul and His Team, Ryan pulls out important insight on church leadership and influence.
-Carey Nieuwhof, Founding Pastor, Connexus Church
I strongly believe that great leadership is a team sport. In Paul and His Team, Ryan masterfully gives us practical leadership applications from his thorough research into the team that supported the apostle Paul’s ministry. Every leadership team should study and implement the lessons from this book!
-Chris Surratt, Discipleship and Small Group Specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources. Author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us
Paul and His Team is a practical and accessible book that dives into the leadership principles of first-century ministers, then applies them to life and ministry in the twenty-first century. The way it is organized, from building bridges with nonbelievers and walking them through baby steps, all the way to mature Christian faith and training the next generation of leaders, is especially helpful.
-Karl Vaters, Pastor, author, and blogger (NewSmallChurch.com)
Build bridges, be voices of reconciliation, seek common ground, stay focused on your mission as Christ’s ambassadors: Paul and His Team offers practical advice to advance the gospel, rooted in solid biblical teaching for both pastors and lay leaders. Helpful questions at the end of each chapter make this an excellent group study book.
-Lynn Cohick, New Testament department chair at Wheaton College
In Paul and His Team, Ryan Lokkesmoe provides an accessible guide to the leadership example of Paul that will help pastors and lay leaders better steward the responsibility God has given them.
-Michael Wear, Author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of
Faith in America
Viewing leadership as Christ-centered influence, Ryan Lokkesmoe insightfully lays out the principles employed by Paul and his ministry cohorts. With solid biblical scholarship and practical application to Christian leadership, Ryan has provided a significant, readable gift to the church. This book is much richer than the trendy “how-to” leadership books currently on the market. Highly recommended for pastors and lay leaders!
-Dennis P. Hollinger, President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
In a day when we only think about the “super leaders” in the big lights, Lokkesmoe insightfully highlights the whole cast of lesser known men and women who supported Paul’s apostolic mission. In the process we learn valuable lessons about leadership, conflict resolution, and true kingdom collaboration. This book quietly turns most leadership books on their heads, demonstrating the real work of God through the lives of ordinary, flawed people who offer their disparate gifts to the Master. I heartily recommend it.
-Timothy C. Tennent, President and Professor of World Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary
This outstanding gem of a book is an honest and cutting-edge guide to becoming winsome, gracious, and effective on- and off-stage leaders in our challenging new cultural context. It is a marvelous treasure trove of fresh, biblical, and hard-hitting insights. The apostle Paul urged believers to imitate him and his team, and Ryan Lokkesmoe breaks down for us how to do this in the twenty-first century. I heartily recommend this powerfully relevant book.
-Colin R. Nicholl, Director, Biblical Research Ministries, Northern Ireland. Author, The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem