Team Members Go Sideways

John Tilton

But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him." "Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me." (Luke 22:21-22 & 34)
I wonder what Jesus thought as he knew that two of his disciples (Judas and Simon Peter) or "team members" would "go sideways" on him in his most critical moments of his ministry by betraying him and denying him. After spending much time with them prior living with them, teaching them, leading them and ministering together with them, that they would go sideways on Him at His defining moment to all. It sure must have hurt to not only know what He faced in terms of the ultimate sacrifice, but also that members of His team would not stand by Him but instead betray Him for personal gain or deny Him out of fear for themselves. We know through scripture that Jesus kept His eye on the Father knowing what He was called to do even though He would ask if the cup of his sacrifice might be passed from Him.
There are times that we will find team members, leaders and friends that will "go sideways" on us in disagreement, not supporting the team or our leadership and even attacking our leadership and/or character. It is those times like Jesus that it can sure hurt to realize that someone has "broken rank" as the saying goes in the armed services, which then possibly opens the team up to attack by the enemy, possible dissention and challenge in fulfilling the assignment or winning the battle. What do we as leaders do? The natural reaction it seems is first hurt, then bewilderment, followed by anger as well and probably a confrontational reprimand, with a directive of my way or the highway. This may work in the secular world but not in serving God. One of the most challenging and humbling lessons I am learning is how to lead with grace, love and a shepherding heart even when you are seemingly taking hits from someone on your team. Is it their fault? Well, perhaps the break from ranks and going sideways, possibly due to something in their life that you don't know about. However, the responsibility to find resolution and bring that person back into rank and on the team is the leader's responsibility, hopefully being able to speak into that person's life and the incident become and life lesson. I've learnt recently that leaders create, teach and reinforce the systems that allow success. Sometimes those systems require recalibration as we just learned from a speaker. However, taking responsibility and finding resolution is that of the leader's. Is there times when the person who goes sideways just can't conform and goes AWOL like Judas? Yes. That's when surgery might be necessary to save the team. It seems that true leadership is not only about how to lead and direct prior to the battle or game, but when you are in the thick of the battle or down in the game and your team members or players are pointing fingers at one another, how do you muster the troops and players into unity bringing the talented and gifted player back into the game mentally with heart and focus? It has to be through Jesus, with firm grace, love and teaching.
Lord, please guide me and give me the wisdom, grace and heart to lead those that might go sideways in the heat of the battle or game of taking your Gospel forth, knowing that there is an enemy who is very strategic in his attack on our team and ourselves. I know that the enemy will attack us at the points that often hurt the most. Lord, let me be vigilant in taking the hits and turning to you for understanding, insight and trust that you allow challenges to happen for our growth, learning and your glory when we persevere and win.

Devotions for January 22

Exodus 3,4,5
Luke 22

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