I spent a few moments listening to one of Perry Noble’s leadership podcast and was intrigued by this four step process people go through when they feel called to do something, to take action, or to make a difference. I immediately linked these steps to the start of Harvest Ministry. I also began to wonder what else the Lord may be calling me to do. Here are the four levels a person must go through before beginning a new ministry.
I Could Do It
It begins with a seed. Many people have walked by this same exact situation and haven’t given it a thought, but you walk by and something catches your attention. A need surfaces and you think to yourself, “I could do that.” It’s what happened to me as a senior in High School when someone came to sing at our youth ministry night and my exact thought was, “I could do something like that.” It may play out in other ways too. You see a need of a family and you think of a solution almost immediately. The first thought before jumping in should be, “I could do that.” I could help. I could assist. I could organize something to help ease that problem or situation. Without this first step, it’s difficult to move on. And who knows how long you will be in this first step.
I Should Do It
Then the seed begins to grow. You move beyond could and it becomes more personal. Now you’re thinking you should do it! This is when it begins to burn into your heart and mind and will be difficult to shake. You have to moved from thinking someone else should, or that you possible could, to you – yourself – having the sense that you should do something. It was my case that evening in High School, I went from I could to I should. Most likely this process will take more time. I remember once dealing with a decision to do something and I kept putting it off. Of course, I could’ve have done it. But, getting to the level of “I should do it” was quite a process. Eventually, while listening to a missionary speak, I realized that indeed I should say yes and do it! I still remember the moment, where I was and what transpired. I’m so grateful for the outcome of that decision. And this leads to the third level.
I Will Do It
You need to pass through each of these levels in order for this third level to be effective, because this is where it gets hard. Anyone can say they will do it. But without the drive, discernment, discovery that happens in your soul during the first two levels, this level may too short lived. Once you’ve noticed the need and once you’ve determined you should do something about it, “should” then turns to “will.” This phase is a commitment. You’re in. And if you thought your mind was churning about should you do it, wait until you come to grips with “I will do it.” In many ways, this level brings a peace that a decision has been made or an answer has been given. In other ways, your heart and life are consumed with getting it accomplished and working toward it. It doesn’t mean you know all the steps ahead, but you’re driven with commitment. In the example I’ve been using, it was a quick evening that went from “I could go around and sing at churches and youth groups” to “I should go around to sing at churches and youth groups” to “I will go around and sing at churches and youth groups!” That Wednesday evening in January of 1990, I went home, wrote about 15 letters to some pastors I knew and let them know that if they ever needed anyone to come sing at their church, I would love to. The first invitation I received was for February 13, then again on March 25, and in a crazy turn of a events, it’s still what I do today, 25 years later.
I Will Invite Others To Help Me Do It.
You could do it, you should do, you will do it, and now, you invite others to join you in accomplishing it. Without living through the first three phases, this phase is nearly impossible. Followers will travel pretty far with someone who has drive, passion and and inexplicable desire to get something accomplished. And inviting people to join you, requires that you have lived through the struggle of wondering if you could, should or would do it. Now you’re here, you must go for it, and you need the help of others who also see the vision with you. This is the part in my story where time did lapse. I spent about five years living out the “I will do it” phase. I sang in churches, led music for camps and conferences and served in unique ministry all through college. Then, I invited people to join me. And they did! The ministry took a new turn and Harvest Ministry was born. Today, there are two key parts to my calling – 1) I must continue on and 2) I must invite others to join me in the ministry. Our ministry meets the need of assisting the church in making disciples.
So, where are you? Have you seen a need? Are you struggling with a call that you need to answer? There are lots of things you could do, but have any surfaced in your heart as something you should do? Or maybe you’re involved in a ministry or role that you know you need to do, but now it’s time to invite others to join you. Pray a ton and ask big!
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