It has been called one of the best sports teams ever assembled. When professional basketball players were allowed to play in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, some of the best players of all time were recruited, and that historic group was called “The Dream Team.” Watching them play was a delight, and obviously, they won every game by a large margin which led to the gold medal. Part of their secret was the unique combination of players, talents, character, and chemistry. Of course, they also had a “dream coach” and a winning game plan. In retrospect, nobody else stood a chance.

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Teams are the Secret

In simple terms, to achieve the vision of an Olympic medal, a coach assembled the best possible players and executed a well thought out strategy. Sounds like what you and I do. We have a vision given from God, and we need to assemble the best team to accomplish the vision. At ILI, we utilize mobilized and multiplied alumni teams who believe in the vision of accelerating the spread of the Gospel. Based on my own observation of our “dream teams” who are successful in furthering the ILI vision and living the Eight Core Values, here are seven kinds of people we should look for:

  1. LEADERS. I don’t want to discard “followers,” but the best team is made up of leaders, people who already have some level influence. Leading leaders is a bit more challenging, but the results are worth the effort.
  2. BELIEVERS. Buy-in is essential for the success of any vision. Make sure to build a team of people who believe the vision and are committed to paying the price to see it through.
  3. BROTHERS / SISTERS IN ARMS. Like fellow soldiers, the best team players share common core values. This is one of the secrets behind the success of ILI. More than the quality of our training or best multiplication strategy, the Eight Core Values are the bond which unites us.
  4. STARTERS. It is much easier to stir a moving object in the right direction than trying to overcome inertia. Look for proactive people who take initiative and responsibility for their part in the vision.
  5. CREATIVES. Creativity is about having a thousand bad ideas and a dozen outstanding ones. Surround yourself with a diverse group of creatives. It will require some extra work, but again, it will be worth it.
  6. CALLED (BY GOD). At ILI, we say there are two kinds of people. Those who see ILI only as their “job.” After a while, they move on to the next job which pays better or offers more opportunities. Others feel called by God to serve the Global Church and fulfill the Great Commission (I consider myself one of those). Those are the ones who stay for the long run.
  7. FLEXIBLE. The world of visionary leadership is constantly shifting. Movements are mobile by nature. Those who are flexible enough to move with the changes make the best contributions to the vision.

Jesus built an awesome team of men and women who ended up changing the world in His Name. They were ordinary people, but they embodied the characteristics above. Although we can’t compare ourselves to Jesus, if we strive to build a dream team like that, we can change history, too.