“Notice, Nurture, Develop and Deploy” is a one sentence plan for the multiplication of ministry leaders. Taking notice of something or someone is more than seeing them. It’s observing them, taking note of them, giving them full attention. The gift of noticing when someone arrives, walks into a room, or leaves you a message is powerful all by itself, especially for younger people. Couple this with a desire to help awaken in them something they may not see in themselves, and it’s truly life changing!
I have been in conversations when someone will tell me a dream about what they want to do. One of the phrases that I like to mention in our conversation is that “there are just not that many people out there in the world thinking that they want to… [fill in the blank] plant a church, put on a musical of grandiose proportions, teach children, open a shelter, start a ministry, start an orphanage in India, etc. ” It’s a sentence of awakening. God gives us each desires and when they are pinpointed, talked about, given some energy – noticed – it’s like something begins to grow! We don’t know how exactly it happens… but like a garden, it just grows.
It’s one of our jobs as Christian leaders to notice people. To take time to give new people we meet full attention. To take time to stop and listen to a student play music or read something. To see a student involved in one of her activities and giving her encouragement. To actively pursue the art of observing people’s gifts for the purpose of helping them find their niche in the ministry of the kingdom.
There are times when you might see potential in someone and notice that they have natural instincts toward a certain aspect of ministry. Since this is the first in four steps of multiplication of ministry leaders, you do want to notice the people around who have some gifts or desires for growing into roles in this way. Don’t feel badly if not everyone has the same gifts. That’s totally fine and actually perfectly designed. Noticing one person doesn’t mean that others don’t have a chance to be noticed in other ways. Develop the art of noticing without downplaying the gifts of others. Be genuine. Be authentic.
Don’t be stingy with your noticing. You don’t want to be fake, but don’t hold words back. Give people, especially people under 18, the gift of being noticed. The approval of two thumbs up, a smile and a nod, a short text or a hand written note might the foundation for helping to develop in another person a strong leadership capacity.
Once you have noticed someone around who has a potential and desire for ministry leadership, you begin to nurture them.