I want to be a leader that’s used by God to inspire uncommon levels of commitment in His followers. My guess is you want that same thing. If that’s our target then the question is: What does a high level of commitment look like? What are we actually aiming at?
In Luke 10:1-16 we see a perfect example of men who were inspired to uncommon levels of commitment. These 70 men had been hanging with Jesus when suddenly he empowered them to go out to do ministry on their own. We learn a lot about what commitment looks like when we look at the assignment these men accepted and their response when it was over.
Five signs of High Commitment.
- A submisson to spiritual authority. Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” These men eagerly accepted Jesus assignment as well as his instructions.
- Willing to take risks for the sake of the vision. Luke 10:3 “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” When someone has low commitment they have low tolerance for risk.
- Willing to make personal sacrifice for the cause. Luke 10:4 “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals.” These men left behind the common comforts of life in order to walk in faith.
- Don’t quit when things get tough. Luke 10:16 “he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” These men encountered opposition and rejection at levels they had never experienced before, yet they carried out the mission.
- Totally engaged in the mission. Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy.” When they returned and reconnected with Jesus they were fired up! They loved every minute of the challenge, they had been totally engaged.
Do you see these signs in your team members? If not go back and read the previous 5 posts. What adjustments do you need to make?
As leaders we want to see our team member’s commitment at the highest level possible. But sometimes it’s the leader himself that puts a lid on an individual’s level of commitment.
When a leader refuses to let go and empower his team members he’s slowly siphoning commitment from their veins. People want to be contributors, they want to be trusted, they want to grow and they want to use their strengths to contribute to the overall mission. So when we refuse to empower them we’re the ones putting the lid on their level of commitment.
In Luke 10 Jesus had 72 men who had been following him, studying him, assisting him and learning to do ministry. Then at a critical point in his mission, Jesus empowered them to go out and do ministry on their own, Luke 10:1 says, “The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”
Now understand the risk Jesus was taking as a leader.
- There was a high risk of failure. This would not be an easy assignment. Jesus warned them, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.”
- There was a risk they would damage the mission. Notice that Jesus was sending them to “every town and place he was about to go.” He was having them lay the ground work for his future work in those cities. The impression they would make would directly impact the reception Jesus would receive in those towns.
- There was a risk the job wouldn’t be done with excellence. There is no question that Jesus would do a better job than any one of those 72 men, he knew that and they knew that as well.
Regardless of the risks, Jesus chose to step aside and let them lead. And because of his confidence in them these men rose to the occasion, demonstrated a high level of commitment and took on the challenge. Lesson # 4 for raising commitment level…Get out of the way and entrust and empower your people. It’s a risk, but your trust in your team will ignite a fire in their hearts that will inspire them to give their best.
When you’re in a rapid growth environment there’s always a temptation to fall into panic-driven-recruitment.
Panic-driven-recruitment is ugly. You recognize it when you see a children’s leader accosting people in the foyer to get them to help in the overcrowded nursery. You see it when the groups pastor is “doing a sell” on a unsuspecting couple telling them how easy it is to host a small group in their home – “there’s nothing to it.” You see it when the pastor stands on stage and announces the desperate need for volunteers in the student ministry. We know it isn’t right, but we all have fallen to the temptation.
Let’s revisit the passage we looked at yesterday, Luke 10:1-2. Jesus told his newly enlisted 72 recruits that the vision was huge. And he told them they were going to need additional leaders. But notice he says their role in the recruitment process is to “PRAY”, God’s role was to “SEND”.
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers.” Luke 10:2
Pay close attention because in that phrase ‘send out” is the most important part of recruiting new leaders. The Greek word for “send out” is a fascinating word. It means, “To draw out, to lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist.” In other words as we pray for new leaders God begins to work on the hearts of people and draw them, compel them, call them into leadership.
If we do our part and PRAY, God will do his part and SEND. I love this because Jesus is teaching us Faith-based-recruitment. Don’t give in to the panic-driven-recruitment looking for warm bodies to fill positions. Look for people who are being compelled, moved, drawn, those who are wrestling with God’s calling. Remember we may be the instrument, but God is the moving force.
Are you trusting in the fact that God is working in the hearts of people around you calling them to serve Him?
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard a staff member at a church say, “We don’t need any more volunteers, all our positions are filled.” Wise leaders knows that recruitment is a never ending process. We’re being shortsighted when we stop looking for emerging leaders.
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is recruiting for Need rather than Vision.
It fascinates me in Luke 10 when Jesus had just recruited 72 new leaders he immediately looks at them and basically tells them, “The vision is so huge we’re going to need more leaders.” Check out Luke 10:1-2
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Two things Jesus said really challenged me…
- Maintain a vision for Growth. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful.” The spiritual need in our communities and our congregations is enormous. We can never get comfortable or complacent as leaders but must maintain a passionate vision for the work God has put before us.
- Recruit for vision. In this verse Jesus also said, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers.” Jesus had just recruited 72 leaders, but he doesn’t take his eye off of the need to continually be praying for, identifying, recruiting and equipping emerging leaders.
When you have a vision for growth you will recruit for vision not just the need of the day.
What are the leadership needs in your ministry today? One year from today? Three years from today? Are you recruiting for Need or are you recruiting for Vision?