Note: part of a series from From Followers to Leaders.  See Feb 21 blog entry for backstory.

The parking lot is the decision-making place. It’s not somewhere people want to stay and hang out. It’s the place where people make up their minds about whether they want to go on this particular journey or whether they want to go back home.

Not everyone wants to go on the hike. Although it would be great to get buy-in and full participation from everyone, the secret is that we don’t need it. We can choose to work just with those who want to go. Jesus called some who chose not to follow, and he went on with his ministry anyway.

What do people in the parking lot need? They need to know a little about what the journey will look like. What is being offered? What would be involved? What will it cost in time, energy, and commitment? What is the benefit? Mostly, people in the parking lot will need a safe place to ask their questions. “Will the end result be worth the time and energy I’ll need to invest? Do I feel God calling me to this? Do I share this vision?”

The parking lot is our place for casting vision. We cast the vision, and carefully watch for responses. Who is interested? Who is ready? Who needs some more time to process, but may be ready in the near future? Based on those responses, we can invite people along on this journey.

Parking lot questions:

  • What is the destination?
  • What are the risks and rewards?
  • What training and support is available?
  • Is it worth the effort? Do we want to go?
  • Are we willing to commit?