Vision leaks so we continually need to keep God's big mission for our life in front of our eyes and hearts. And not ours only but the people we minister to. Here's a great 2 minute vision video.
What do I do with someone who thinks they know it all?
Perhaps you've discipled someone who thinks they have it all figured out whether it be ministry or the Bible or just life in general. It's easy to respond in unhealthy ways to these people of trying to one up them, humble/humiliate them, ignore them and so on.
So what really is a healthy way to respond to them? How can we really love them (do what's in their best interest)? First we need to realize if someone struggles with arrogance or pride, just teaching them something is not really going to work. They need to discover it for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. We get the privilege of creating opportunities where the Holy Spirit can work. If we provide them with opportunities to step out in faith, it causes them to depend on the Lord (which depending on the Lord only happens when we see or feel our need to).
One thing you can do with them is put them in situations to teach action-oriented things (not theory). For instance, you can affirm them and then suggest and help them set up a time to take so and so young Christian out to share the Gospel.
Asking them questions also does wonders. Things like, "How would you help someone overcome doubt?" "How would you help someone take a step to go on a missions trip?" "How would you help someone be confident in raising support for a missions trip?" "What key things does a Bible study need to thrive?" How would you help a new believer have a quiet time?" "What would you do to help a new believer know how to share the Gospel?" "How would you help someone prioritize their relationship with God?" If their confidence is really unfounded, these questions (as well as others you think of) will help them humble themselves and become learners. However sometimes someone has an appropriate level of confidence we can assume is arrogance. If they can answer these questions perhaps we just need to give them more opportunities to lead. Sometimes perceived arrogance is not really arrogance but someone not being appropriately challenged.
How do I balance family and ministry?
Tyranny of the urgent (doing whatever comes up because it's urgent) robs our family and ministry of effectiveness and efficiency. That's why it's so important to have Christ on the throne and make a clearly defined purpose statement and long term goals broken down into short term goals. (Things we are suppose to steward, our behavior and gifts, not things we can't control like other peoples decisions). Then we are able to make decisions not based on impulse but by faith of what the Lord has called us to. Then we are able to say no to good things because though something may seem good ,it is actually squishing out the best. A purpose statement and long term goals broken down into short term goals helps us discern good from best.
Besides having a purpose statement and long and short term goals to help us live out our purpose statement, we need to put big rocks first (From 7 habits of Highly Effective People) in our daily life. Big rocks are the most essential things (things like spending time with the Lord in His Word, spending time connecting with spouse and kids etc.)
Here's a video explaining the big rocks first analogy
How do I help others overcome the entitlement mentality?
My husband Austin posted a great article on facebook the other day from the Covenant Eyes website that made the connection between thankfulness and the basic entitlement/greed mindset so many struggle with. It's a great read, here it is, Why Porn and Thanksgiving Don't Mix. Basically the writer uses Eph. 5:3-4 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” to point out "greed isn’t just about money. You can be greedy for food, power, and in this context, you can be greedy in your sexual appetite. Greed is being focused on what you do not have." So if we can help foster in our students an attitude of thankfulness it will go a LONG way in helping them overcome so many other issues. So of course the Lord would say, "...in all things give thanks for this is God's will for you." 1 Thes. 5:18 So it might be a good practice to start discipleship appointments asking what they have been thankful for in the last week and/or help them think of ways to foster an attitude of gratitude in their daily life.
How do I help others become life-long learners?
Have you ever had your disciple tell you something someone else told them and it's the very thing you've been trying to explain to them for months? We never know what God will use to help others actually understand a spiritual truth. And when we don't meet with them anymore we want them to continue to grow because they are not only able to feed themself from God's Word personally but also able to make an effort to get wisdom from other goldly people. The more we can give them wise people to learn from now the better. And really how great would it be if they got to sit down with Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell! Well, they can. Have you heard about the overflow show? It's a podcast and website with videos of wise people talking about important things. You might want to pull it up during a discipleship time to show them and help them bookmark it on their phone to listen/watch when they have time between classes. Here it is overflowtoday.com.
How can I grow in my heart for the world to know Jesus?
Whatever we feed grows right, so like Prov. 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" we need to be intentional about what we are putting in front of our minds and hearts. JoshuaProject.net is a great website that shares where the world is at in terms of being reached with the Gospel. They also have an app that gives you a different people group to pray for each day. It lets you know everything known about that people group like how many believers and if the Bible is translated and such. Then when you pray for them, you can click a little smiley face and see how many other people prayed for them that day. It's free. Get it here. And since the whole point of what we do as staff is to "Prepare others to reach and influence the world for Christ" let's keep our hearts and minds set there.
How do I get better at motivating others intrinsically rather than blasting them with truth or shoulding them into doing things?
I love that all wisdom comes from God. He is not partial but gives wisdom freely to those who search for it, which brings about humility since we can learn from all sorts of people. (Of course weighing what people say against God's Word). On that note, here is a TED talk recommended by a national staff Cru guy I highly respect. It's called, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action", something we all can continually grow in.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 12 years serving with Master Plan Ministries and has authored 5 books. You can find her at the places below.
In the works...