Jesus selected His inner circle (i.e., His Disciples) from unlikely sources and from a range of professions, experiences, and backgrounds.  These twelve men were all too human and each had his good qualities and his flaws, just as each of us does today.  The apostles, like every human, experienced doubt, envy, anger, denial, ambition, fear, arrogance and greed, among others.

Yet eleven of these twelve would carry the mission on their shoulders to spread Christ’s message to the world, to proclaim the Messiah’s death and resurrection and to teach and lead the early church.

Then there is Saul of the Sanhedrin who was zealous in his persecution of the early Christians.  So fierce was his persecution that Christ’s followers scattered across the lands as they carried the message of God into the world.  But on the road to Damascus, the Lord knocked Saul to the ground, blinded him and got not only his attention, but also his heart. In that moment Saul became Paul, who proclaimed in 1 Timothy 1:15

…This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

In selecting those who will be your inner circle of advisors, it is important to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, the good and the bad of their characters.  Each of us have flaws; these are the things that can get us and others into trouble.  We will be tempted through our strengths to become proud of what we accomplish and have.  If we have a tendency to be envious or greedy, that pride can lead us to cause conflict and lose track of our purpose. If you as a leader have to spend more time dealing with conflict and issues between your advisors than getting advice from them, then you will lose valuable time.

Your inner circle should be trusted and trustworthy; true to the vision of the organization and able to provide you critical advice and perspective on events and pending decisions. They should also know that you are the ultimate decision maker —they provide input, you make the decision. Jesus knew his mission. He knew he needed to develop a team that would carry out His Purpose after His death and resurrection, but He also knew their weaknesses as only God can. He knew their hearts and minds.

We as human leaders do not have the ability to “know” the hearts and minds of those around us, so we must be diligent in getting to know people, behaviors, tendencies, flaws and strengths.  We need to be students of the Bible and of people. and hone our ability to read each person beyond what they readily share and tell us. This will enable us to select our advisors wisely and with understanding.  Any time you are seeking an advisor or making a decision about what to do about someone in your inner circle, Pray, Pray, Pray … and Pray some more, for wisdom, discernment, and strength to do the right things.


Author:  Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved

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