I once coached a planter who could inspire a group of people to do almost anything. He was an amazing communicator and motivator. I often chuckled that he could preach a message inspiring people to go put out the fires of hell with squirt guns and they’d be ready and excited to go do it. He had good intentions, but when they left the auditorium and went out into the lobby, there were no squirt guns available. There was no water either. There weren’t even buckets for them to go get water. All the energy came to nothing when it hit up against reality because there was no advance preparation for follow through.
This type of situation can arise in many different ways. If you are preaching a series on spiritual gifts, do you have a way people can discover their spiritual gifts? Have the ministries of the church identified helpful spiritual gifts for their various roles? Then do you have a way to help people process ministry options in light of their gifts and to find an appropriate place in serving?
Likewise, if you are starting a mentoring ministry and you go to recruit potential mentors, do you have a training program ready for those who respond? Do you have people who need and want mentoring that you can match them with? Maybe wait to ask for volunteers until you have some of those pieces in place.
The bigger picture
One particularly dangerous—and often unintended—consequence of being unprepared when you launch is that of dashed hopes. People have gotten inspired; they’re excited to go out and serve. But then you have nothing specific for them to do. Next time they’re going to be much harder to motivate, and your own credibility has taken a hit. Good intentions aren’t enough.One particularly dangerous—and often unintended—consequence of being unprepared when you launch is that of dashed hopes. Good intentions are not enough. Click To Tweet
Before you inspire, before you invite and vision cast and raise hopes and generate excitement, stop to ask: What if they respond? Do I have the next steps in place? Be sure not to advertise beyond your reality. Prepare before you launch.
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