Encourage, but don't manipulate!!
For my entire life, I have had a gift of persuasion. Since I was a little kid people have always told me I would make a great sales guy. Then about 6 years ago when I graduated college, I jumped into the contract furniture industry which was at the time the 2nd most competitive and difficult industry to be successful in behind selling jet engines. However, I saw major and immediate success. I have always had a knack for getting people to make decisions that I wanted them to make. I even convinced Beth to marry me. Crazy.
This has been a huge conviction of mine because it fools me into believing that I can play the role of God. I have to be extremely careful about this, especially with the church plant. I have the ability to convince people to do things that they normally would never do. That is a lot different than inspiring people into something God sized that God wants them to do.
This past week I was listening to Pastor Furtick talk about how he built a core team and God convicted my heart. I do not want to convince people to be a part of my church plant, I want to inspire them to do something great, and allow God to convince them of what they are to do. That is not my job. My job is to encourage but not manipulate.
On Tuesday during a long trip to Raleigh at 7:00am I surrendered this to the Lord. It was harder than most would think. God exposed my own self-sufficient attitude and I needed to spend some time with Jesus in repentance and asking for his help.
On that same day (My Birthday by the way) I received 2 phone calls from 2 people who have the potential to have major influence in our church plant and being on our team. When I say major, I mean just as much influence as I or anyone else would have. They informed me that GOD, (Not me) has been speaking to them in private about the plant and they wanted to talk further about joining the team. They both felt that GOD (Not me) had brought them to the point where they needed to verbalize what God was doing in them. Nothing was set in stone, but God showed me his faithfulness through my surrender.
God is so faithful to us. If we are willing to surrender to him, he will flood our gates with things that we never knew were available to us.