One of our speakers at our US Staff Conference in Ft. Collins this summer, was Dr. Joel Hunter. He is my pastor in Orlando and he tells great stories. One story during his second message was about how his son watched this very pretty little girl ride by on this really cool bike all decked out with streamers.
“Did you see that?!” his son said to Joel.
Obviously, he embellished it some, but Joel’s point was: “The immature focus on the mechanics. The mature focus on the relationship.” I remember well the first few times I tried to share my faith or give my testimony. I was so concerned about remembering the words and getting my transitions right. But as I gained experience, I began to think less about the mechanics of what I was trying to say and more about the person I was talking to.
I think the same thing happens when launching ministries. We get concerned about launching right, demographics, DNA, etc. Those things are important, but as we trust God to lead us to those whom He has already prepared, it becomes more a matter of, “Lord, who do you want me to start with?” God is more concerned that all “be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) than we will ever be. He will lead us to those who are key to planting a ministry in that community.
Joel ended his talk with another story about how a native tribe was saved by taking care of it’s weak and sick. His point: “The weight of the weak saved the strong.” Who are the weak and vulnerable? In our context, I believe that they are those outside our normal span of care. I facilitated a panel this summer on managing multiple movements. I asked one panelist, Marta Fraser, how she managed the tension of developing students in her own ministry and seeking to reach out to the lost in another communities. In other words, how do you manage the tension between scope and depth. She said that there was no tension, “For when we go to other places, God grows us deeper at home.”
I want to welcome you to another year of Coaching Tips. I look forward to hearing what many of you are doing and sharing some of our best practices with each other. My hope is that these few minutes each week will help us become more effective as we seek to reach every student on every campus for Christ. If you have a resource, a strategy or or a tool that works for you, please let me know. So together, let’s ask God to lead us in ways and to places we have never been before.