In a week’s time we start the most incredible journey of our lives! My family is excited! I’m thrilled to be able to raise my daughter (and the children to come) in the midst of this amazing adventure. For years, my wife and I have talked and talked about this, and now it’s action time! In a week’s time, we will gather with a few believers for our first “official” prayer meeting, praying that God will stir in our hearts vision and passion for His church. In other words: We’re planting a new church! That alone should excite anyone!
Before I carry on with the excitement, let me say this: If you’re in Auckland, New Zealand, and you feel the urge to be part of something like this, please let me know. This might not be it for you yet, but we would appreciate your prayers anyway. At the end of this week I might blog about “who is this for” if you’re thinking about coming. Keep your eyes wide open!
Having said all of that, here is what I’ve been working on lately: Best players play for the best teams! I’m sure this will be a lesson not only for our church world, but there will be many leaders and entrepreneurs who will use this concept in their businesses and endeavours. Here we go!
The best players are out there busy playing for the best teams. If they’ve got talent, they are generally on the starting line up. They worked hard for it and deserve their spot (at least this is how it works in the world of sports and to a certain degree, in the world of business too). Success only comes before work in the dictionary – I heard someone saying years ago, and I couldn’t agree more.
Using the analogy of the sports world, let me ask you the question: Being a new team, and willing to win the championship, How do you get the best players to play for your team? Tough question. If you’ve followed any big tournament like the NBA or NFL you know what happens: You recruit them! You offer the truck loads of money, playing time, advertising deals, sell them your offer. I believe the same goes for the business world: Recruiting the best includes offering a better package, benefits, flexible hours, career achievement, fame, status and etc. I’m sure many HR consultants will disagree with me and present their theories about self realization and etc, but honestly, I don’t have the time for that. I prefer the reality, and the reality is that in the business world as well as the sports world, money talks!
That’s all good and well, I get it. But in our case, we’re in the ministry world, we all play for the same team (I guess), so how do we get the best when we’re the new team on the league?
I’ve noticed that the “best” (and there is a reason why I use “” here) are already playing for the “best” team. What is “the best”. Is it the biggest? the largest? the most modern worship? the most flash sticky jeans? The craziest haircut? (I’ve seen several crazy ones). Is it the pastor who changes the style of his clothes to attract a new targeted area instead of focusing in teaching the truth? There is a lot of connotation in this “the best” we use for ministry.
Maybe the best (the real the best ones with no “”) are not playing for “the best” teams. Maybe they are the worse of them all. After all, Jesus chose Judas, and already knew who he was… Maybe that’s an extreme, but what about Levi, a tax collector, traitor of his own culture and people? (Levi would be Matthew for those less familiar with Bible names). What about Peter? Dumb as a rock! Ops, crossed the line right? Sorry. But hey, that’s the meaning of his name anyway right? I know, you’re surprise I called Peter dumb… Well, get over it, read the story and I’m sure you get a similar conclusion. What about Thomas? One day he says he would die with Jesus and the other he denies His divinity not believing he was back from the dead… This guy was at least confused in his thoughts to say the least. I can finish the list, but I’m guessing you got the picture already!
Well then, I’m after those ones! The best (without “”). If that was Jesus’ method, I’m sure it’s a good one. And if that’s what it takes to get the best, I’ll take the dumb ones, the traitors, the cowards, the obsessed, the fragile, the insecure, the hard hearted, the ego-centric and etc. It would be nice to get some smart, clean, intelligent, strong, unselfish, loving, focused, helpful, servant ones in the mix as well… Just saying!
I had a few ideas about searching for ready-to-go material, people already trained and ready to hit the ground running (as we say in business) but my experience has been frustrated so far. Maybe because I’m not playing on the same “league” of “the best”, therefore, we can’t trade players…
There are two ways of recruiting people to kick-start your ministry (Maybe you could use these principles for business and something else, but I’ll stick with ministry for this one, because it’s what I know):
- You can train them from square 1. This is definitely the hardest choice, but it pays off when the dividends come. You will see people who probably weren’t even Christians growing in faith. The downside of this option is time. Of course God has this thing all figured out, but remember, He is God, you’re not! Although we live in dependency of His mercy and grace, and His plans are higher than ours, I also believe in taking initiative…
- You can recruit the best (that’s right, again, without “”). To avoid some ethical conflict, I would say: Be transparent with your goals.
If you want to recruit someone who is already leading in an organization, go and talk to the “head coach” or “general manager” first. Explain your goals and why you would like to recruit that person (please, present solid reasons, not “because I need members”) and watch their reactions. If they are insecure, they will hesitate in helping and most likely will politely dismiss you to never again welcome you in their realm of influence. That’s all right, the world is full of insecure leaders who are heroes on top of the platform and not so confident in real life. And I’m sure they don’t intend to hurt you, they just don’t want to get hurt before you do. My advise: Forget the person you were trying to recruit there. Just pray, and I’m sure that if God has a plan for them to come and join you, they will find you just like Indiana Jones always found the treasure hidden wherever he was looking for it.
If they are really team players, kingdom-minded leaders, they already know that the best always moves forward. And some times, moving forward means starting from the scratch, because that’s the right thing for them to do. That’s called progress! We live to advance the kingdom, and not to create a reservoir of followers who are blinded to the outside world. We operate as a river, where water (blessings, people, leaders, resources) flow freely to where the natural current (life, God’s purposes, destiny and etc) will take them and not as a pool where we get all of it and keep it all until it overflows and it goes wasted.
WOW, I’ve written almost 1300 words in one post already! I should stop! Maybe more on the next… Enjoy your thoughts and let me know if any of them can help us… Or maybe you’ve got questions… I’m not sure if I’ll have the answers, but I can sure try!