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Will the Next 10 Years be the most Fruitful?

What does it take for the next 10 years to be the most fruitful 10 years of your leadership life?
Like last week, it will include…

  • Necessary Endings
  • New beginnings
  • A “not so easy” journey through the Muddled Middle or Neutral Zone

Do these well in your church? Change gets easier.
Do these well personally in your own life and leadership life? You’ll likely move farther, faster.
So, if you’re sensing the prompting of God to a

  • new initiative,
  • new career,
  • new training,
  • new location,
  • new missionary disciple posture …

People who have discounted or blocked out their inner callings … have cut themselves off from the very signals that really vital people use to stay on the paths of their own development. – Bridges

You’ll find yourself…after the Necessary Ending and into the New Beginning in the Muddled Middle of transition…

  • where it’s not going so well…
  • doesn’t feel so great…
  • isn’t quite what you thought it was going to be…yet.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

Here are 5 questions worth asking before you jump:

  1. Does God seem to be leading? Do others in your trusted circle concur?
  2. Are there people to welcome you and walk with you if your ending/new beginning includes relocation or reorientation?
  3. Do you have a plan? And does it include things not working out immediately?
  4. Do you have space and resources…time, emotional, financial…if or when everything doesn’t go as planned?
  5. Is there a trusted guide to consult with or ask you the hard questions?

My first 12 months in seminary…from leaving a promising business career to becoming a pastor… were a painful, muddled middle for me. A big gap between what I expected and my reality.
Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:31)

Many of us get ambushed by the difficulty of transition that’s attached to major changes.

  • Personally.
  • In the church.

I remember a few glorious moments where my bold (and certainly wise!) leadership resulted in almost instant results. We changed by addition. (We didn’t take anything away!) We added a

  • new building,
  • new campus,
  • new worship service,
  • new program,
  • new something…

And our “numbers” … we usually only measured worship attendance and offerings for clear signs of fruitfulness… jumped!
What a great leader!

There are more and more church leaders today who are summoning the courage to guide their churches into the new world around us.

The “it’s a good thing to go to church” world that used to exist is gone. They’re leading their churches to send out missionary disciples to engage the “No Religious Preference” crowd knowing there won’t be instant results.
It’s an uncomfortable lag time. Muddled middle. No quick results.
Leaders wonder if they’ve made a mistake. Followers wonder even more.
Lag time. Muddled middle.
So, a bit of explanation here….1000 Young Leaders is intended to provide a much needed booster rocket to the myriad of churches that have had the courage to stop just talking about reaching their children and grandchildren and are seeking to shift the culture. Engage the missionary frontier. Be sent out two by two like the 72.
So, before you jump, count the cost. Ask the questions.
And if you’ve already shifted from talking to acting on reaching the emerging generation of adults that aren’t so interested in what you have to offer; contact 1000 Young Leaders today with the names of a couple of gifted young adults you may have overlooked. They’ll help your congregation through the muddled middle.

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