Most of the mistakes we have been looking at are myths. As such they are partially true and just partially false. Thus there is an element of accuracy to this statement. Of course we are able to do outreach on our own. We ought to be willing to do significant acts of outreach apart from our need for a team. There is plenty we can do that is accomplished just by ourselves. However in the long run that policy is going to lead to burnout. We will quit if we seek to be a one-person outreach team. We just aren’t wired to do this stuff apart from connecting with others who are similarly wired to us, with both our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Fire left alone has a tendency to go out rather quickly. This is just as true in the spiritual world as it is in a physical realm. We need others who are going the same direction as us in outreach. It is vital that we team up with others who have a similar heart. You can’t go it alone in outreach. You need at least a couple of others to team up with you in order to do this for the long haul. The question is How can we move forward to make it for the distance? How can we proceed in a way that is going to endure? Sprinting down the path for a short bit is simple enough. Many can do that. To make it for a marathon distance takes some careful strategy. Jesus calls us to give our entire lives to his cause, for the rest of our lives. This is a matter of the lordship of Jesus.
Pray. Ask God to supply a helper or two. Jesus said, “The fields are white unto harvest. …Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers.” The beginning point is simply to ask God to show up. Jesus also said, “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name there am I in their midst.” There is something unfathomably powerful about having our focus on the Lord Jesus. He delights in showing up in our midst when we aim at lifting him up. “If you agree on anything…I will do it.” Amazing power is unleashed when we pray.
Look. Don’t forget to look for the supply of God. He might be in your midst right now doing something great even as you complain and are depressed. A key to progress is having the wherewithal to notice the move of God in both the obvious and the obscure. Pray for truth-tellers to come alongside you to speak words of obviousness to you. Sometimes childlike people will come as a gift to you with the ability to speak plain truth to you. Receive such people with enthusiasm. Take their words to heart.
Start. In the film Forest Gump, Forest begins to jog full-time for reasons not even he understands. He just feels it is important to go for a run, a long run! He runs across the entire United States. When he arrives at one coast he decides to run back the opposite direction again. He doesn’t stop this routine for several years. Forest runs alone for a while, but people start to hear about his run and believe there is something innately spiritual about his trek and slowly other joggers join him. Before long a cadre of fellow runners surround him wherever he runs.
Outreach (and much of leadership!) follows this pattern. Momentum begets momentum. We may not fully understand what we are doing. That’s just fine. Don’t wait until that ethereal point happens. It never will! Just start. Momentum is what life is all about. Without momentum you are either dead or quickly on your way to being dead. Progress happens as you proceed in a willingness to take a stab at the future. Ready, FIRE, Aim.
That’s your mantra from now forward.
We need one another in order to do outreach for the long haul. God is going to provide our coworkers. Look for them, but thank him in advance for the amazing team he is sending.