The Secret to CommitmentBy Dan Vis
February 24, 2020
As we close out the second month of the new decade, I decided to pull out an old memo that builds on the topic of value I shared last week. Here, we look at how value leads to commitment. Vital information every leader should know!
There are a lot of important principles that go into building an effective discipleship team: properly promoting the class, choosing the right time and place to meet, a solid orientation meeting, a curriculum based on the right building blocks, how well you follow the biblical model for training, and much more. But these keys are only part of the solution.
The real challenge is getting the members of your team to commit!
To put it differently, leading your team is just 5%, the rest is getting your team to follow! Without committed buy-in, all the training in the world will do little good. To build a truly effective training ministry, we must come to understand what the Bible teaches about commitment.
While the word "commitment" is not found in the Bible, Jesus actually told several parables on the subject:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Matthew 13:44-4644 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
In both of these parables, the men clearly demonstrated commitment. Both were highly motivated to achieve the object of their desire. And both of these men were successful in acquiring what they wanted. From this we see that commitment is essential to success. Without it, there can be no effective training.
Perhaps more important--these parables show that commitment comes through correctly discerning the value of an object. The first man went and sold all that he had "with joy" for he knew the worth of that treasure hid in the field. Likewise, the merchant eagerly sacrificed all to acquire that one special pearl, for it was "of great price." Neither saw their purchase as a loss, but rather as a gain. The same is true of training. When a person correctly grasps the value of what they are learning--they become committed.
The key to keeping a group committed through an extended training program begins with communicating the value of that training. If you are wanting to teach memorization, encourage them to visualize the impact of having hundreds of verses alive and fresh on the tip of their tongue; the potential of being able to live a life of consistent, diligent discipleship; the joys of being able to share their faith with friends and consistently see at least some come to Christ. And then do it again and again. When the value is clear, commitment will follow.
On the other hand, let your group lose sight of your training's value--and things quickly degenerate into a string of endless objectives. Team members will lose heart. To persevere, we must encourage them to keep the prize constantly before their eyes (Philippians 3:13-1413 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.). They must look ahead to the joy set before them (Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.). We must teach them to focus on value.
Count the Cost
Of course, the other side of commitment is also revealed in these parables--that there is a cost for things of value. And there is definitely a cost to training: coming to meetings on time; faithfully completing one's Bible studies in advance; memorizing assigned verses--and quoting them word-perfect; participating in group discussions; carrying out witnessing objectives; praying faithfully for fellow team members. All are essential! And all take self-denial and sacrifice.
A lack of commitment will lead to half-hearted efforts in these areas, and in time, will spread and weaken the resolve of others in the group to give their best. A high level of commitment, in contrast, will not only motivate group members to strive for excellence, it will encourage others who see it to excel as well. It will spur the entire group toward success.
The Bible is clear about the power of our influence: "exhort one another daily . . . lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Hebrews 3:13-1413 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;). The prize goes to those who finish--but without accountability, it is all to easy to quit short of the goal! Sin comes in so subtly, and we end up distracted or discouraged. But the solution is clear: exhortation. "Consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works . . . exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-2524 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.). The closer we get to the end, the more important it's going to become!
In order for a team to be successful, each member must understand the power of their influence. Each must recognize their personal responsibility to encourage others in the group, by their example and words. For it is only when each person gives their individual best--and challenges others to do their best as well, that the group will realize its full potential. Together, the group must press forward together in pursuit of its shared objective: becoming workers for Jesus Christ.
This is what it means to count the cost. Before joining a training program, we must challenge each person to evaluate their commitment, and the impact of their influence, right at the outset. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?). Commitment requires weighing the cost, and then determining to pay the price.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, these are always the two factors involved in commitment. It's a formula that compares the cost of the object with the value that comes from obtaining it. When we focus on the value, and that value clearly outweighs the cost, we manifest commitment. And the bigger the span between cost and value, the more committed we become!
The opposite is also true. The more closely cost and value compare with each other, the more ambivalent we become. And should the cost ever appear to outweigh the value, commitment will quickly fade.
What about you? How much value do you place on becoming a worker for Jesus Christ? Are you willing to do what it takes to truly follow Him? Do you understand the power of personal influence, and are you determined, to inspire others with the value of the training you offer? To urge others, by your own personal example, to pay the cost, and give their best?
That's the real question, isn't it? How committed are you?
CommentsHow important is motivation? Commitment? Focusing on value? Counting the cost? Share an experience related to one of these concepts in the comments below. What practical things do you do to inspire motivation in others?
|Posted by Eleonora on 02/29/20|
|Thank you wery much for that highly valuable memo! That's something, I have to think about and where I will have to learn and change. To see the value and to exhort myself and others...|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 07/04/18|
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
setting the example is crucial to getting any traction with multiplying. to inspire motivation in others, we need to be motivated ourselves. Drinking from the living well will motivate us and empower us to go out and leaven the whole lump - infiltrate and influence the entire church through our own excitement for the Word of God. Practically, this will mean not keeping to ourselves, but actually intentionally bringing up the ways that God's Word has been impacting our personal lives -sharing a testimony here and there about how God spoke intimately to us through His Word. This communicates to others the kind of value that God's Word is to us.
When I share testimonies like this with others, they get motivated... to a point. so I need to make plans to maintain contact with these same people who got the spark in their eyes when they saw what I had and wanted the same for themselves.. but then went home and life's weeds choked back their good intentions.. because they need that ongoing support for a little while before they finally cultivate the habit of spending quality time with God on their own.
It's like charging someone's car batteries that have gone flat. with a little bit of charge, they can start their car again...but a bit more charging time is needed before you can disconnect and their car can make the drive home without your battery power.
|Posted by David Jeffrey Grabe on 06/25/18|
|Greetings, Pastor Dan & all my FAST Friends, in the Sweet Name of Jesus!
Thank you so much for this Monday Memo. Our Church Bd met yesterday and enthusiastically approved the Discipleship Group I wanted to help get started. I echo what Joyce & Valerie have stated: using these principles you have laid out to help our fellow members to "grow in grace & knowledge of Him & to send Biblical motivational text messages to "encourage our members to "see the value for what they are committing their time & energy to.
I especially appreciated your statement, "In order for a team to be successful, each member must understand the power of their influence. Each must recognize their personal responsibility to encourage others in the group, by their example and words. For it is ONLY when each person gives their individual best--and challenges others to do their best as well, that the group will realize its full potential."
Covet earnestly your prayers as I seek the LORD's direction in this opportunity for our church in El Paso!
Exodus 33:14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Deuteronomy 33:25Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
I Samuel 7:12Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
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