And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Mark 8:32-33 ESV
Wow! The key team member openly rebukes the team leader – albeit Peter ‘took him aside’ out of deference to His leadership no doubt. Jesus in turn rebukes Peter with the others looking on – quite the public chastisement. Yet, neither interaction destroyed the personal relationship or the team dynamics.
Shortly thereafter, we see this interaction: “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:13-14 ESV Jesus was indignant with the Twelve for their over-zealous crowd control – stopping the little children from coming to Him. He corrected their behavior in no uncertain terms.
Last we see this interaction among the Twelve: “And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” … And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. Mark 10:36-37, 41 ESV
James and John were making a power play to move ahead of the other ten on the team. The ten heard of it and rightly became upset with the two brothers. Jesus calms the situation by reminding them all that Kingdom positions were not His to grant. He then uses it as a teaching opportunity for what leadership values are important for Kingdom leaders.
These three incidents give insight into the team dynamics of Jesus and the Twelve. These incidents occur during the final year of His ministry with them. They had been through a lot together, yet still there were stretching times as they related. But, through it all the team did not break up or dissolve, nor did Jesus ‘fire’ the team. They just worked through it together.
They were free to have open disagreements among themselves and with Him as the team lead. He was secure enough to embrace these conflicts, correct where necessary, be stern and direct when called for, and then use it to further their development as Kingdom leaders. He did not shy away from conflict, rather, He moved towards it as an opportunity to further their growth.
How’s your team dynamics? Do your team members have freedom to openly disagree or are they talking outside of the team meetings, afraid to say what they really think? You, the team leader, set the tone and create the environment.