Insight: Can Your Team Blend to Go Both Fast and Deep?

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

How a Team’s Strengths Blend in Quick-Moving Circumstances

Think of a time when things changed quickly for you.

Maybe it was a news report … a telephone call … an accident … a life-changing event …

If you look carefully, you’ll notice how God intentionally puts specific people in your life during fast-moving circumstances – people who blend with you as a team to navigate change successfully.

Such was the case after Jesus’ resurrection. Things moved quickly. The religious establishment was threatened by the exploding numbers of Christ-followers, taking immediate and deadly action to shut down the fledgling faith. Persecution scattered new Christians, leaving the early church in a fluid situation.

Some Christ-followers made their way to Antioch, a Gentile city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem, and shared about Jesus. Would the faith in Antioch stay the course and go deep – or fizzle?

Here’s an Insight

2 men walking together

Image: Red Shlriskey

A team can go deep, even during quickly-changing circumstances, when they blend strengths.

You may know Barnabas as the “son of encouragement.” Yet he was also known among his peers as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith,” (Acts 11:24), respected for his dignified and commanding presence (Acts 14:11-12). Barnabas’ steadiness, tact, and reliability made him the disciples’ choice to travel to Antioch to assess the new church there.

As it turns out, Antioch was no place for the faint of heart. It would become a launching point for missionaries into the rest of the Mediterranean. These believers needed strong spiritual roots to withstand the challenges that would come their way. Barnabas assessed the situation systematically and knew he needed help to disciple the Antioch believers more deeply in the faith. Who could he call on?

Go Fast and Go Deep. Blend Together.

Barnabas turned to Paul – the restless, energetic, Pharisee-scholar-turned-Christ-follower – a man who was nearly Barnabas’ polar opposite when it came to managing change.

Paul had spent 3 years in the wilderness after his conversion (Galatians 1:18), escaping to his hometown of Tarsus during the persecution. Exile would be a stretch for the dynamic, driven Paul and his usually fast-paced, action-oriented comfort zone. Yet the time apart deepened his spiritual life.

Picture the blend of Paul’s charismatic teaching paired with Barnabas’ strong, steady words of affirmation. The two men remained in Antioch for a year until God called them out on the first missionary journey, discipling the young church to go deep while navigating the fast-moving change all around them.

That’s fast. But Barnabas and Paul blended their strengths to ground the new believers in faith and cast a vibrant vision of outreach.

When your circumstances move quickly, take a look around you. Who has God placed next to you?

Join forces together. Use your blended strengths to go deep.

Now How Shall I Live?

Read the account of Barnabas and Paul as they discipled the church at Antioch (Acts 11:19-25).

  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Barnabas.
  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Paul.
  • How did God use this team to build the early church?

Discover your strengths when you take the Leading From Your Strengths profile.

More Insights About Strengths

Teams: Lean In or Lean Out? How to Be a Team When Facing a Threat

Teams: Rock the Boat! Use Your Strengths to Challenge the Status Quo

Teams: Task-Oriented or People-Oriented? God Uses Both on Teams

Conflict: Use Your Adapted Strengths to Resolve Conflict

Conflict: It Can Lead to Multiplication

Conflict: Must Two Similar Personalities Always Lead to Conflict?

Conflict: Diffuse Jealousy By Blending Strengths

Change the Way You Think, Part 2

Change the Way You Think, Part 1

Parenting Insight: What’s Your True Parenting Insurance Policy?

Do You Know Your Strengths … Or Are You Just a Know-It-All?

Renewing Your Mind Means Choosing With Your Head

Changing Your Heart Means Giving God Access

Using Your Hands Means More than “Just Do It”

Strengths Are Given In the Image of God