The goal of a leader is take people from where they are to where they could be… And sometimes the one being lead can’t even see where it is they are going. It’s the coach who pushes his players to work harder, run faster, and jump higher to win a national championship. It’s the music teacher who takes her pupil to the next level by encouraging and equipping the student to play better than she ever thought she could. It’s the professor who sees something in a young college student and spends more time than usual with her to make sure she’s ready for the real world.
Every single day there are leaders in the world who see something their followers can’t see and their goal is to get them to a level they didn’t think was possible… And it is no different when it comes to following Jesus.
I know that anyone who reads this blog has someone in mind that you believe in and you know that they could make a huge impact for Jesus. But they don’t see it. They are imprisoned by their past. Their mind ruts won’t let them break free from negative thinking and self-doubt. Their relationships keep pulling them back into the same old behavior that they’ve been trying to break for years. They could be so much more… But they just don’t know how.
This is where you make it personal with them. This is where you step up and have what one author calls the ICNU Conversation*. It goes like this…
“Hey, I’ve noticed that people really listen to you when you speak up in the group, have you ever thought of going into public ministry?”
“Hey, I’ve noticed that God continually blesses and you have such success in business, have you ever thought of using those skills to help non-profits become financially stable?”
“Hey, I’ve noticed that you have a way of making people feel welcome, have you ever thought of using your house to welcome people far from Jesus into a relationship with Him?”
The list could go on, but you get the point. The ICNU Conversation is noticing and seeing something in someone that they don’t see in themselves… And then telling them about it. It’s coming alongside them and saying “You’re really good at this, I think you can use it for Jesus.”
So many of us think that we are disqualified from following Jesus because of (fill in the blank), but nothing is further from the truth.
Peter denied Jesus, but lead the first church.
Paul killed Christians, but planted churches all over the ancient world.
Zacchaeus stole, but learned generosity.
Mary was a prostitute, but was one of the first messengers with the news of the resurrection.
James doubted Jesus, but went on to be a key leader for the early church.
You see the pattern? It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God wants to use you for His glory. And sometimes we just need a little extra boost of confidence from others.
So go encourage someone today. Go have an ICNU Conversation. Go help someone be more than
*Borrowed from Dave Ferguson's and Warren Bird's Hero Maker, 2018.