The world’s most challenged leaders are sent-ministers in any area of divine calling. First, because they have the duty of assembling, coordinating and leading people to goals they are yet to understand or grasp, and whose basis of coming together is personal will. Secondly, to function effectively, this class of leader requires these same people to offer manual, professional and spiritual labour of their own accord. When one recognizes this fact, you can’t help but just have a great respect for this class of leaders.
No man can take this office to himself. It cannot be claimed as a fundamental human right. Rather it is a gift of God’s Grace. The Industrialist has his capital, resources and bank loans to hire the best hands anywhere. So do Governments, but the God-called Minister usually is not in position of such earthly assistance. And thus, for him or her to find the right persons to work with and work through could be as arduous a task as seeking a needle in a haystack.
The issue to resolve before hand is not so much ‘how to get the right people’, but rather, ‘what makes certain people the right people’? What should one look for when building a team of helpers? What are the factors that get people willingly involved in spiritual service in the first place?
I believe two factors can be pin-pointed; Motivation and Conviction.
People do things, especially when it concerns others, as moved by CONVICTION and MOTIVATION.
Understanding Motivation and Conviction in Team Building
Since your approach to recruiting workers determines the quality of persons you can have, it is vital to understand the dynamics of motivation and conviction on people’s lives and choices, how it affects your vision, and how to properly apply these knowledge for the good of your vision.
Motivation means incentive, drive, enthusiasm, stimulus, impetus. Motivation makes people do what is expected of them, while Conviction means certainty, confidence, assurance, sincerity, passion, fervour, belief. While Motivation is a force one cannot ignore, Conviction is deeper rooted. Conviction will make a man die for a course. Suicide bombers are an example of people with a conviction, albeit negative. Motivation will make you accept a call to carry your cross. But only conviction will keep you from dropping it when the journey gets rough and tough. Motivation made the crowd follow Jesus. Conviction made the woman with the issue of blood disregard the consequences and press through to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. Motivation made Gehazi collect the stuff from Naaman. Conviction, made prophet Elisha turn down Naaman’s gift.
However, one must not assume the suspicious mode of trying to seek out negative motives. Even so, God is able to use all motives and intentions to work out His divine purposes.
A guiding Principle to note here is: In spite of motivation, people will still act, first, based on conviction
People serve basically for reasons reinforced by a conviction. Now, conviction is inward. Its true nature cannot be easily identified by another person. One may claim to see conviction in what a person does, but this is not always the case. It is possible for a person to ‘serve’ well on the outside but be totally different within. Judas Iscariot is a good example.
A senior minister once shared with me on choosing leaders. He explained that you can only do your best. Jesus chose twelve but had one bad egg. You can’t possibly do better than that, but you can do as well. The crux of his counsel is this: if you can achieve 90% good, with 10% not so good, you’ve done a good enough job, but if you achieve 90% bad and only 10% good you have a big problem on your hands. The following steps can help you begin to achieve 90% good leaders.
Listen to God
That was how Jesus started. Only God knows the inward conviction behind the actions of any man. Today’s fantastic prospect could be tomorrow morning’s major pain-in-the-neck. Nothing reveals a man or woman’s heart like power, authority and prominence. Ask and hear God before you even begin to do anything about any prospect.
The sent-minister will need to exercise discernment. Rely on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as stated in 1st Corinthians 12.
Consider their service history
It has been said that truth retains its dimension and colour regardless so time. Time is a proven revealer of true Conviction. The apostle Paul admonishes leaders in 1Timothy 3:10, “Before they are appointed as deacons [officers, team members], they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability. If they do well, then they may serve as deacons.” (NLT)
In other words, do these prospective appointees have a history of spiritual service within your work? Have they used any position of service in times past to the promotion of the vision of the house? If they don’t have any such record, a period of probation is sensible before committing the reins of responsibility to them. By this you give them time to develop a history of spiritual service.
Consider the CV of some of Jesus’ team members:
Peter cut off a soldier’s ear to protect Jesus. John and James wanted to call down Thunder. Peter walked on the waters of a stormy sea to go to Jesus. Phillip brought a small lad’s meal to feed a multitude. Even the ways by which many of them died showed their conviction about following Jesus. They showed themselves, consciously and unconsciously, as leadership material upon which Jesus could build the foundation of the Church to be born.
People of conviction will stand by you when nothing seems to be happening. They are the ones you’ll find around you when it seems you are a failure. A number of such persons are probably still with you today. These are people of conviction.
When you begin to identify people of conviction, build them into a team. This was our Master Jesus’ first act before he started a teaching ministry. I wish you all the best.
God bless you richly
Tope A. Banjo
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