Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stage 2

As a church, Crossroads is entering stage 2 of our development.  Here is what Mike Breen and Steve Cockram say about this stage, comparing it to the discipleship pattern Jesus set for us in his ministry:
      Eventually Jesus' disciples realize they have no idea what they are doing.  They understand that following Jesus is going to shake up their lives.  The established Jewish [religious] leadership doesn't like Jesus, so they don't like his disciples either.  Things are not going the way the disciples expected.  The fun fades away and the pressure mounts.  The early enthusiasm of the disciples is disappearing fast.  Jesus isn't following the plan the way they envisioned it, and so they begin to question and doubt.  [Discipleship at this stage] is comprised of people with low enthusiasm, low confidence, low experience and low competence.  This phase is the most disheartening part of any experience and is often where people give up.
      It is also in this phase where most managers go wrong.  Rather than trying everything he could think of to change the situation or boost morale, Jesus the leader simply waited.  He knew that with all the false confidence and enthusiasm drained away, the disciples were ready to get down to business.  In this situation, Jesus becomes a coach.  Now he begins to share his vision more fully with the disciples.  Jesus withdraws with the disciples and begins the intensive talks about the big picture, eternal values, and putting their treasure in heaven.  Jesus [leadership at this stage] was high direction, high discussion, high example, and high accessibility.
(from Building a Discipling Culture Huddle Guide, page 46)

Fortunately, once we get through this stage, we will progress to Stage 3 where the "disciples are starting to get the hang of things," where enthusiasm is based on "real knowledge of what the task is," where we will be "generally... moving forward with the competence to get the job done."

None of us has done this before.  Let's allow Jesus to work on us through this process, trusting that He knows what He is doing.

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