Recently, I’ve been growing more interested in the process of discipleship. I was listening to a podcast (How Discipling Men Changes Everything (feat. Man in the Mirror)) when one of the speakers casually dropped this thought before continuing on to his point.
We don’t make disciples and pray for workers. We make workers and pray for disciples.
As a youth leader/intern/director, I was regularly faced with the challenges of finding more leaders to help with the students. Too often, I’m sorry to admit, I looked for people who were willing to help with the youth, not really paying attention to an individuals spiritual maturity. And then I found myself up a creek as I had set up spiritually immature leaders as role models for the youth they served.
Jesus commands us to “Go and make disciples…” (Matt 28:19), but his encouragement is to pray for workers (Matt 9:37-38). Somewhere along the line, we got these two things mixed up.
I often listen to Dave Ramsey, which is a personal finance podcast. But personal finance touches all of our lives, so sometimes he ends up talking about something else entirely.
That’s when this article came up. Apparently, there was a city in the Netherlands that put restrictions on the purchase of recreational marijuana, and noticed an increase in performance at the college level. 4,000 students were observed, and on average they performed 5% better when access to legal marijuana was revoked. More interestingly, there was an even greater increase in grade performance among the “low performers”, i.e. those students who were in danger of failing out of school.
We’re in the midst of a cultural change where tolerance and acceptance are trumpeted as the highest good. But what if that means we’re accepting things into our nation, our schools, and our homes that aren’t good for us? Where do we draw the line, and, more importantly, how do we manage to hold to that line in a respectful and honorable manner?
This isn't some earth-shattering "blow your mind" kind of lesson (but if I'm honest, that's how most of my posts are). However, I know that this principle has a ridiculous ROI if applied consistently.
The magic principle? Do 5% more. Some call this "Never walk past a problem." Others call this ownership.
Every day you and I have countless opportunities to do a little more. The dishes are dried in the rack? Put them away before you wet them again with your own dishes. There's a piece of trash next to you? Pick it up and throw it away. A coworker's having a rough week? Grab him/her a coffee when you stop for yours. Leave a thank you note. Top off the gas tank. Now your neighbor's lawn. And don't draw attention to your deed.
None of these are gargantuan tasks. Most of them require very little additional effort on our part. Yet the effect is profound. We slowly become the sort of person that others like to have around. We craft in ourselves a spirit of generosity. We develop an attitude of service. And others will be grateful. It's not hard, but the extra step will do wonders in strengthening a relationship, in building rapport. Not that we do these things for that specific goal. That's just gravy. The real meat and potatoes is the character development that is occurring within our own hearts and minds.
Honest and accurate evaluation can bring much needed intentionality to development – of a leader, of an organization, and even of a relationship.
This will be short because it’s late and I’m tired.
Today I was listening to The School of Greatness Episode 520. In it Lewis Howes talks to personal trainers Chris and Heidi Powell marriage and weight loss and celebrity. In the middle of it, Chris confessed that even as he was at the top of his game, he still felt like he wasn’t good enough. Heidi was able to come alongside him and remind him that what made him special, valuable, and worthy wasn’t what he had accomplished or what he could do. It was who he was as a person, and the lives that he had helped to transform.
All of us have days where we feel inadequate. We need to remember that our worth is not found in what we do, but in who we are.