I had the privilege of participating in the For The City Pre-Conference at the Verge Conference. I led a breakout session titled “How to get the people who care about you to care about your mission.” Below is an overview of my notes. I hope they are helpful, but I publish them to invite dialogue, pushback, and additions to my ideas. If you want the full version of the notes you can email me.
The idea was to assist people who are passionate about a certain mission to be able to articulate and spread their passion.
Where are we going?
- You need more people than yourself to accomplish the dream
- Community accomplishes mission
- Shepherd them into the mission
Biblical Basis for a Community-Driven Mission
Jesus Himself gathers a community to His mission and when He sends, He always sends a community on mission, not a lone ranger.
- Matthew 10, Luke 10:1-12
- Matthew 28:18-20 – Great Commission
- Acts 2 – Community, Acts 4 community, Acts 13 – community
- St. Patrick – Evangelizing Ireland through a movement of communities
The goal is to meet people where they are and guide them toward a greater mission.
To get people to care about and partner with your mission you must move them from prayer to ownership of the mission. I would encourage you follow the following path.
Prayer –> Understanding –> Educate –> Vision –> Engagement –> Ownership
Prayer – Matthew 9:35-39
Jesus had a clear goal and His first word toward His disciples was…PRAY
Matt. 9:36 – The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, therefore…pray earnestly!
If passion for mission is lacking, prayer is lacking. Prayer is God’s means of aligning our hearts to His, of us declaring our dependence on Him, and requesting an action greater than we can create ourselves. We don’t ask of God because we aren’t typically doing anything beyond our own means.
We want to exhaust all of our options first and then go to God for help. Jesus shows us the opposite. We see someone faithful to being with God, asking Him for people.
Prayer continues throughout the process, but it must be a foundation. What do I need to be praying for? Who do I need to be praying for?
From there, we move from prayer to understanding.
Understand The Other Person or Community
If you are ever going to get people to the point where they care about your mission, you must first discover where they are at in regards to your mission. This comes from asking questions and listening with a filter.
- Listening for what they value
- What do they say? What do they do?
- What are they most passionate about?
- Ask good open-ended questions
- Have you ever thought about…?
- Are they receptive and interested in your idea?
Their values display their worldview and meeting people where they are means understanding and connecting the mission to their worldview.
Know the Issue.
Knowledge Communicates Competency & provides confidence worth following.
Read Multiple Approaches
Tim Keller’s thoughts on preaching
“When you listen and read one thinker, you become a clone… two thinkers, you become confused… ten thinkers, you’ll begin developing your own voice… two or three hundred thinkers, you become wise and develop your voice.”
Whatever your issue, you must become the pseudo-expert. In our age of information, we have no excuse for pursuing knowledge and gaining information on all sides of the issue.
Informing on the Issue
- How much do they know?
- What do they need to know? How easy can you tell it and they repeat it?
- What stories can you tell them?
From there, Jesus had a Clear, Repeatable Vision & Values.
Jesus’ vision: “Go & Make Disciples”
Jesus’ values: “Love God. Love one another. Love your neighbor.”
Our vision and values are based on the aims of our mission. The ultimate goals of the challenges we face. Vision is the mission statement and values summarize the direction our actions must take.
Ways to Assess: How repeatable is your vision?
Harvard Business Review Quote:
“Companies with Great Repeatable Models℠ translate their strategy into a few simple values and prescriptions that people throughout the organization can understand and use to shape actions and decisions.”
Let the Values Guide Engagement & Ownership
Engagement is how they start to serve in your mission.
This happens by letting your practice flow out of your values. This is how values become repeatable. They connect with how people learn and retain (head, heart, hands).
Develop a Pathway for Engagement
Exposure à Investment à Commitment
Exposure – 1 time serving
Investment – Consistent Serving
Commitment – Main Service Outlet
Empower People to Own The Mission
You know you have accomplished this when the people that are a part of your mission are the ones guiding people through this same process. That’s the aim, to transfer the passion for your mission to the people who join you.
Most people stop at engagement, but we must move to ownership for this process to become transferable.
A Mission is Sustained by the Gospel
Lastly, I want to make a comment about sustainability for you and your community on the mission. We must be careful to not focus so much on the mission we neglect the proper motivation and ultimate purpose, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel leads us to make cherishing Jesus the ultimate mark of success rather than mission success (Luke 10:17-20) and then to care for those who are a part of the mission as well as our own souls.
Dialogue, Pushback, And Additions
What do you think? How have you been able to get people to care about your mission? I welcome additional thoughts, disagreements or additions to help me and other continue to learn in this process.