Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Recruiting”

Leave Your Nets

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus recruited the busy and the successful. Note that both sets of brothers were actively engaged in their jobs when Jesus encountered them. They were fishing partners (Luke 5:10) along with the father of James and John. And it seems that they were good fishermen as they had formed a limited partnership and had hired employees.

Just because they had an established career and no doubt expectations from father Zebedee that his boys would take over for him one day, Jesus did not hesitate to ask them to leave that vocation and join Him in a new one. If we are not careful, we can fall into thinking that the busy and successful, or those with clear professional career paths, should not be recruited to staff roles, either full-time or associate. We must not hesitate to recruit those whom God is calling out of a fear of taking them from a lucrative job.

Navigator staff is not for everyone. Certainly we need many, many more conventional income laborers to see our Calling fulfilled and the movement advance into all the nations. But for some, becoming a full-time, vocational Navigator is the right thing. Our job is to simply ask them to prayerfully consider whether God would have them to leave their nets and come with us. Some will be called by God to do so. It’s a high calling and a great privilege to become a Navigator staff person.

So who is it that God has placed in front of you that you should be asking to prayerfully consider leaving their nets and coming to co-labor with us?

Jesus’ Way of Developing Leaders

I’ve always loved the Gospel of Mark because of the action oriented narrative.   You’ll remember that Mark’s gospel begins with a one-year gap (Mark 1:13-14) between His baptism and the 18-month ministry in Galilee.  This first year of Jesus’ public ministry is only recorded in John 1-4.

Below is a short outline of some key leader development passages as found in Mark.  While this is not an exhaustive list, it does serve as a reminder of how to be more intentional about developing those leaders we have influence with.

Mark 1:14-18 –  Jesus was on the move and He recruited others to join Him in the movement; note that He recruited busy, industrious people

Mark 1:35 –  Jesus was a pacesetter/model, especially in spending time with His Father

Mark 1:36-39 –  Jesus had a plan for His ministry; He took the risk of disappointing those He was leading by saying ‘no’ to their desires for Him

Mark 3:14 –  the emerging leaders were “with Him” first and then sent out

Mark 3:16-17 –  having nicknames indicates He knew His disciples well; there was a deep, personal relationship with Him

Mark 4:10,34 –  He gave special training and development to a few; He told them “why and what”

Mark 4:35 –  Jesus took the initiative and led out by example

Mark 6:6-9 –  Jesus modeled faith and expected it of His disciples; living by faith was to be a lifestyle

Mark 6:30-31 –  He modeled for them the importance of taking time for reflective evaluation and relaxation

Mark 8:31 –  He sought to keep His disciples informed about upcoming events

Mark 9:14-16 –  Jesus protected His disciples from threats; note how He takes the argument with the teachers of the law onto Himself

Mark 10:28-31 –  Jesus was an encourager; He affirmed good behavior

Mark 11:1-3 –  He emphasized forethought, scenario planning, and training before sending them out on assignments

Mark 14:10 –  Jesus too had one of His leaders who did not do well; not all failures are reflections on the leader and their ability to train others

Reflect on these passages.  Open the bible with those you are developing.  Look carefully at the model of Jesus and how He developed leaders.  Remember to, “Lead from the Scriptures and into the Scriptures!”

Recruiting and Retaining the Best

General Colin Powell [Chairman (Ret.), Joint Chiefs of Staff] in his work, “A Leadership Primer” describes the following principle:

“Organization doesn’t accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”

How does a leader attract and recruit the best people to accomplish great things? Here are several of my thoughts:

1. Ask God to give you people to help you accomplish what He has asked you to do. People are a gift from Him. John 17:6

2. Have a clear and compelling vision that is big enough to grab someone’s attention, challenge their status quo, and attract them to join you in making that vision a reality.

3. Recruit to vision, not activity!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask busy, competent people to join with you in making this a vision come true. Be bold! James 4:2

5. Promise to lead and care for them well. Deliver on your promise.

6. Promise to develop them for contribution, not role or title. Deliver on your promise.

7. Trust that God will sovereignly bring people across your path to help you. 1 Chron. 12:22

8. Ask people to make a decision – does God want you with us or not? What does God want you to do with this decision?

9. Don’t let the decision linger with not deadline. Don’t rush it, but don’t let it go on forever either.

10. Celebrate the person’s response. If with you – great! If God has said no to this offer –great! We only want what God wants for you!

Are you asking God for the best possible people or are you simple looking for anyone with a pulse? Ask Him to give you His best!

Our God, a Recruiting God

The following was done by Doug Nuenke some time ago.  I’ve kept it for some time in my files as a reminder on the biblical basis for recruiting.

“From the beginning of time, our God has shown Himself to be committed to inviting men and women to join Him in His kingdom enterprise.  We don’t need to search further than the first chapter of Genesis to see this method at work in the lives of Adam and Eve.  As divine image bearers, they were invited to join God’s work as multipliers, fillers, subduers, and rulers of the earth.

“God is continually inviting His people into a close relationship with Him, and to a task.  For example, God invited Abram to a relationship of blessing and to a faith venture of leaving his homeland to go to a place God would show him (Genesis 12).  God invited Moses to join Him on a world-changing rescue operation, promising the blessing of His presence (Exodus 3).  Jeremiah was invited to join God’s purposes for his life as a prophet to the nations.  God assured Jeremiah that ‘I am with you and will rescue you’ (Jeremiah 1:4-10).  The apostle Paul was interrupted in the course of his life by a compelling invitation from God.  It made no sense, and who would have picked Paul, the murderer, to join God’s task?  Yet Jesus appeared to him, promising His involvement in Paul’s life, and inviting Paul to join Him in turning people from darkness to light (Acts 26:12-19).

“Year after year, throughout the centuries, God has been an inviting God, a God who recruits men and women to join Him in His kingdom endeavors.  Jesus did the same when He said to potential disciples, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  Again, we see God inviting people to Himself and to a task worthy of their lives.

“What do we learn about God’s recruiting of individuals?  First, God invites people to join Him in His enterprise, for His glory.  His invitation is not so much about us as it is about Him and His purposes.  Second, God’s invitations are compelling and have an imperative tone. We can never invite with the same compulsion, yet we can help people discern God’s compelling invitation.  Third, God’s recruiting is personal.  Though He has plenty to say to us as a community of believers, His invitations are directed to us as individuals.  Finally, we see that God’s recruiting involves the promise of His presence and involvement.

“In organizations, we must make the distinction between the task of marketing and the task of recruiting.  God models both of these. Marketing is the public disbursement of who we are and what we are about.  It involves broad communications of a person or organization’s mission, vision, ethos, and character.  God communicates broadly, in this marketing fashion, through His creation, through His mighty acts, and through His miracles and wonders.  The Lord Jesus’ life on earth communicated in a broad and public way, the character and mission of God.  Recruiting, however is personal. It is more relational and directed to the individual.  Recruiting happens most effectively at a local level, and engages men and women where they live, pointing them toward God’s invitations and callings on their lives.

“Our God is a recruiting, inviting God. As God’s people and God’s fellow workers, we join Him in the recruiting process when we help our student, staff and alumni friends listen for the next step in which God is inviting them to join Him.”

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