Think about a time when you had to do something brand-new that you thought you already understood—for instance, a move to a new town, a new job, or a new church. What skills and experiences were you able to use in your new situation? What “great ideas” from your past just didn’t work? What did you learn from that time of transition?
We continue our Wednesday series today, by beginning to think through how to invite and transition others into the work God’s called us to. For many, this is even more important than the ability to cast vision with a bigger group, because this is where you’ll identify the people who’ll walk most closely with you as you follow God’s vision together.
Rick Rusaw, in The Externally Focused Church, observes, “I used to teach that vision is a clear, compelling magnetic image of a preferable future…. Then I got involved in actual leading. Since then I’ve discovered that vision is more like a compass than a roadmap. It provides direction; it guides; it motivates toward a desirable future.”
Thus, this is also the stage where you’ll be able to identify what the real issues are—the fears, the gaps in your plans, the old things people need to let go of to embrace this new thing. It’s an opportunity to invite others to help you think things through—even if they don’t join you.
So let’s start by looking at how Jesus invited the disciples to join Him. Open a new tab, look at Matthew 4:18-22, Matthew 9:9, and John 1:35-50, then think about this:
• What common threads do you find in Jesus’ invitations? How do you see Jesus “tweaking” his invitation, depending on who He was giving it to?
• There’s a lot of things Jesus doesn’t say here. Why do you think He doesn’t say them?
• Is inviting others to join in God’s work really as simple as Jesus makes it look? Are we the ones who make it complicated? Why do you think that?
OK, so we’re not recruiting disciples, at least not in the same sense Jesus was. But as you’ve been developing the vision God’s put on your heart, you’ve likely been thinking of people you want to say “follow me” to. So let’s begin to really process this.
First, take 10 minutes to write down the names of those people you want to talk to. Afterward, then think through and write your answers to these questions:
• What gets each of these people excited about Jesus?
• How will I need to change my approach for each person—or do I just say it?
• How can I invite them into helping me think this vision through, whether they “join the team” or not?
Then do it. Get with the people you’ve written down. Talk things through with them, taking into consideration not only what God’s showing you but how God’s built them. And as you do, may He continue to grow and shape His vision within you—and those you speak with.