How Others Benefit From Who We Are?
Living A Life of Focus – Part 14
We, Pamela and I usually wish to wait until we’ve spent a year with our focus statement prior to writing about it. With our previous (2019) focus statement, we opened the year up by sharing it with you, our readers and those who follow us closely, and wanted to share our 2020 focus statement as well at the beginning of the new year. Another reason is so that we can add a little more clarity around this area in which we want to develop. This focus statement makes number eleven. That means we’ve spent a complete decade using these statements and are now beginning the next decade in the same way. Why don’t you join in?
The Thought or Concept:
Let’s start with the options I presented to Pamela as we decided on this year’s focus statement. Before I share them, you would not envy Pamela at all as it relates to what she has to go through when we’re planning for a new year. This one was more intense as it marked the end of the decade. Now for the three options Pamela had to work with:
- “Step Up Your Year” Little By Little (How am I “stepping up” this year?)
The idea is how can we improve our year in our life’s five growth areas: home, work, church, relationships, and society.
- Let Our Life Overflow (We’re making disciples of other.)
Because I believe each member of our family has a lot to offer others, we want to intentionally add value as often and as much as we can.
- Let Our Life Run Over (We’re making disciples of others.)
This thought is much the same as the one above, but I couldn’t make up my mind on the wording. At any rate, it’s not my decision, but Pamela’s as I present the basic concept to her.
In response to these options, we had lots of back and forth discussions about this in which Pamela suggested we simply use “Go and Make Disciples” as it reads in Matthew 28:18-19. I think she pulled a fast one on me, knowing how much I love scripture. We’ll discuss that another day.
“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples…” – Jesus
This works; it sounds good, but putting it into action requires some intentional thinking and this is what we’re going to discuss next.
Here are our first four ideas we have to put into practice with our new focus statement. “Go and MAKE disciples.”
Get over the word “disciple.”
Yes, we like you, must get over the word “disciple.” This word throws us all off as the church-world has made it seem off limits. It implies something reserved for the holier-than-thou folks. Are we trying to get people to follow us around like Jesus did? The answer is yes and no. If you think about it, we, like everyone else, already have people who follow us…around. Everyone does. Making disciples is something we all do naturally, but we don’t naturally make a disciple. We have them, but we don’t make them.
Get over using the word disciple. This word simply means someone who can learn from you, like a student. This year we want to intentionally find those who can learn from us. We want our knowledge, skills, talents, and experiences (our gift) to be useful and not wasted just on us. Where are the people your life is serving by way of what you’ve done and experienced? These are your disciples. Let’s move on.
To Whom Much Is Given, More Is Required.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” – bible.com/100/luk.12.48.nasb
When you’ve been given something great, that means one thing, something great is required of you who has something great. When you’ve been entrusted with much, more is asked of you than a person who has been entrusted with little. So the question is what’s the requirement and who do we answer with the more? We need disciples or people we can pass more onto so that more can get done and be passed on. Don’t fool yourself, what you have wasn’t given just so that you can benefit. You’re blessed so that you can “bless.” Who are you blessing? Where are your disciples? Go and MAKE disciples. Let’s keep going.
Let Our Life Overflow Onto Others.
The Bible says in the most popular Psalm there is that “our cup runs over” when the Lord is our Shepherd.
“My cup runs over.” – bible.com/114/psa.23.5.nkjv
What does a cup that runs over look like and what does it mean when it happens? If God is responsible for filling your cup, your life, your home, your marriage, your work, your religion, your social interactions, then what does that look like? I’m afraid He’s not going to just pour a little; He’s going to pour a lot. He has more than enough. Your cup, my cup runs over because God is a God of abundance not shortage. When He gives, He gives more than what we need so that it…overflows. Then the question isn’t whether it will overflow or not, it has. The question is who is it spilling over onto? We must put ourselves in a position where our lives can spill over onto someone else. The Bible gives a perfect example of this in the life of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Abraham’s success spilled over onto Lot, simply because Lot was right there with Abraham. I’ll stop there before I begin to preach to you. Let’s be intentional with the overflow of God’s blessing that’s on our lives. What do you need to do so that your life spills over onto someone else’s? It’s time to go and MAKE disciples. Let’s continue.
Consistently add value to people.
Consistently add value by doing what you do. Another way to say this is..consistently add value by doing what only you can do. I learned this concept from John Maxwell. As our mentor, he teaches us how to add value daily. It’s our everyday life goal. What we make happen for others, others will make happen for us.
“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” – bible.com/116/pro.11.25.nlt
Until we learn how to add value to someone else, we don’t have to worry about someone adding value to us. You wonder why no one invests a dime in you or your ideas? It’s because you’re not investing a dime in someone else’s. It’s time to go and make disciples.
Back to something else John taught me. He did a lecture on how to become a person’s advocate. This is more than being a mentor. It’s about becoming the person who makes disciples. An advocate is more than a mentor, or person who comes in occasionally to offer support or give advice. An advocate is one who comes in and does life with you. That’s exactly what Jesus did and offered His disciples. He said I’m coming in to aid you in becoming the best version of you possible. To give you something you don’t already have, life and that life with abundance, a.k.a. overflow. You know what time it is…time to “go and MAKE disciples.”
When we selected this focus statement, we knew we’d want to be intentional with growing in this area. We had no idea it meant reshaping what we thought about the word “disciple”. We knew we had lots we could offer others because we do that already. We knew that our lives could overflow into the lives of others if we focus less on self and more on others. Lastly, we realized that in order to take this concept to the next level, we’d have to intentionally find those who could use what we have to offer. “Go and MAKE disciples.”
Today is Friday!
This final focus statement installment has two goals. One, we wish to influence you in the practice of having a focus statement yourself and should you not have one, use one of ours. Two, we want to encourage you to allow your gifts, skills, talents, crafts, and experiences to overflow into the lives of others. You have lots to offer and that others can benefit from. Your life is a business, one that others can benefit from. Now let’s “go and MAKE disciples” together!
Thanks for visiting kerryAclark.com. Until next Friday, share this message with someone you have chosen to be a disciple.