Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let's Do It

There's an interesting article at http://www.lifehack.org on “engagement”. It's titled “You Want Engagement? Then Start Being Clear”, written by Clemens Rettich. It's related to business management, but it applies to the Christian walk & Christian leadership, as well. Mr Rettich suggests that “engagement” occurs when workers (or, in our case, believers) are fully involved in what they are doing. He indicates that there are three components necessary for engagement to occur.


The first component is Clarity. He says, “We’ll work our hearts out for you (that’s discretionary engagement) if you can make us see with crystal clarity the great future we are all headed for.” He further points out that leaders must have clarity for the followers to see it. As Christians, we see that so well. Proverbs 29:18a tells us “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The verses around it speak of correction. Note that the term is “correction”, not “punishment”. If a sailboat goes off course, it needs correction to get back on course – the sails or rudder adjusted in some way. So, too, must God or the Pastor “correct” the believer when he starts to go off course. And, certainly, when we are out sharing the Gospel, we're imparting a vision or a clarity of vision to those we're speaking with.

The next part of engagement is Hope. Mr. Rettich writes, “Hope, as I have defined it, has two components: an optimistic vision of the future, and the belief that we have what it takes to get there.” And he further states, “When we can see that where we are headed is better than where we are now, clarity becomes hope.” We read in Psalm 39:7 that the writer says, “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.” Indeed, no matter what goes on in this life, in the long term we look forward to heaven. And, in the short term, our expectation is in daily deliverances & blessings from the Lord. As leaders, evangelists or just “ordinary” believers, we communicate that to others (believers & nonbelievers alike).

The third necessity for engagement is Commitment. Here, Mr. Rettich makes some great points, “If organizational change sometimes feels like going over a cliff, then clarity is envisioning just how we will make the tricky descent, and hope is the confidence we will make it to the bottom in one piece. Commitment is taking the first step over the edge. Commitment is the point at which there is no turning back.” Think about that, not in just business, but in “real life” as well. How often we hit decision making points in our lives that result in life changing commitments. As Christians, our communication of God's love ought to be such that it brings a commitment in the hearer to live in a way that fulfills the hope of that love & gives the hearer a clarity of vision for the results of that love. When we evangelize, we seek a commitment from the nonbeliever to change their lifestyle & thinking from the mundane or the horrendous to the glorious. From trying to control everything themselves to allowing God to work in their lives. We do the same for struggling Christians.

I believe there's an underlying principle for all of this. In order to have the clarity & the hope that engender commitment, you have to have a belief structure that supports it. With the belief comes the action. No belief, no action. Or at least the actions have no commitment. If you truly believe that God is love & that Jesus' dying on the cross for our sins is the ultimate demonstration of that love, then our love for others as Christians can only be culminated in sharing the Gospel. If we don't believe God is love or that Christ going to the cross is it's demonstration, then we'll either perform out of “necessity” or see evangelism as an intrusion in other peoples' lives. No belief, no action. The belief structure that leads to the commitment Mr Rettich describes doesn't make people want to do or think things because they have to. It makes people have to because they want to. And that's truly God's heartbeat.

The link to Mr. Rettich's original post is here: http://bit.ly/1ggMRJJ

2 comments:

  1. Great thoughts here! Clarity , hope and commitment - recipe for impact. Ps 84:7

    ReplyDelete
  2. And it's so easy because it's God who does it in us. All we need to do is give Him permission.

    ReplyDelete