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Would you like to join our... ?

Mar 14, 2012 at 02:17
Category: Leadership Files


Friends, recently I received an invitation to join a new association for ministry leaders  which was being called together to facilitate relationships, accountability,  training, conferences,  to share resources. best practices....  well, you know- many of you have received such invitations yourselves.  Aside from the Groucho Marx line that "I would not join any club that would have me as a member."  this was a very good presentation of concepts and principles upon which to build a ministry association.  Much better than one sent to me  where for only $100 a month I could receive "apostolic covering, spiritual fathering, accountability, mentoring and friendship"

I was asked for my comments to this invitation:

"The concepts and intentions you outline are all good.   However,  how can something relationally healthy come from a top down, general announcement?  If some one has paid the price to develop friendship and team over years of working together, their lives are full and have little need or desire to try and "join" something like this.    If someone is relationally poor and seeking identity or worse, seeking power/place/position through association, you do not want them to join your association or if you do, you have a problem!  And worse again are those who come along whose main or even only interest is to leverage relationships into "ministry opportunities".

If someone is relationally poor and your goal is to help them become relationally connected, that may be good.  However, the kind of relationships that are needed for this cannot work in groups larger than 7 to a maximum of 12 or maybe 15.  Jesus only had 12 in his circle of mentorship!   What most often happens is that if such a group works, there is already a group of 5 to 12 at its centre and there is no emotional, relational room for another to get in there.  Besides, if that core group has invested time and blood in becoming a true platoon, they do not want a "needy" person to come in and wreck the relational dynamics.

If that core group has the vision, plan, strategy to each pick up 7 or so of the seekers, that might work but I have hardly ever seen it happen especially if you are drawing from a large geographical area and there is no possibility of building platoon relationships due to time or proximity restraints.  

Meaningful relationships are built in, out of and through shared mission, risk, adventure.  Jesus did not have three year seminar with the 12.  He chose them to be with him and so that he could send them.  They did not train for 3 years and then go- He trained them on the go, in the field.  

Why do we say we are followers of Jesus and then do stuff that is the exact opposite of what He did?  Sorry to be contrarian but there you have my comments."

Your brother


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