You Don't Have to be Perfect to Start - Week 2 (Monday Morning Devotion)

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We just spent six weeks discovering “What is Hope?” and now it’s time to share that hope.

The next six weeks will revolve around starting conversations that lead to proclaiming God’s Word and His Will for all mankind - a restored relationship with Him.

Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.

Maybe you think it's only the all-knowing Yoda-Gandalf-Miyagi types who can direct a life-changing conversation.

Do you have to be a pastor, CEO, or an ageless wizard to develop others?

No. Just … no.

Abraham Lincoln, a man who united a nation and put an end to slavery, was mentored by a 30-something, barely educated, “illegimate” daughter of a farmer who died before Honest Abe was 10. He said this of the most influential person in his life, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

I know what you’re thinking; most of us would talk like this about our mothers. Exactly. Why are mothers so powerful? Because they all constantly spout epic wisdom? No, it’s because their hearts, ears, and words feel so accessible, and they speak out of love. We can all take a clue from mothers. We can all develop others.

Let’s get more specific. Think of some conversations that have helped you to develop. What made them different? I believe you'll answer those questions in these five biblical elements of life-giving, everyday conversations.

  1. It's not what you know. It's what you ask. A thoughtful question is often enough to challenge assumptions and help people find a path to new insight. Start with an answer instead, and you rob them of the journey. Jesus constantly started with questions.

  2. Buy-in is the game-changer. Why? Because when people find their own solutions, they are so much more capable (and likely) to carry them out. Their desire multiplied by your idea = maybe. Their desire multiplied by their idea = almost certainly.

  3. People don't change until they decide to change. God doesn’t force change and neither can we. Change happens in a series of moments. Whether you're a parent, mentor, small group leader, manager, or friend, you’re there to support what God is doing and nudge people toward the next moment.

  4. Assume you don't fully understand. I can tell you think you understand people. See what I did there? Want to truly understand another person's perspective? First, believe you don’t. Then, learn to listen well. And finally, ask the Holy Spirit for insight. Meaningful feedback happens when you begin to see and feel the situation through their perspective. This advice is especially important if you are working with someone from a different background and/or culture than your own.

  5. Just because it's on your mind doesn't mean you have to say it. If you're like me, when you think of developing someone, you probably imagine it’s mostly sharing advice and wisdom. I discovered something. It’s not. In fact, it's possible to play a key role in a person's development—even over an extended period of time—without ever offering advice. Instead, focus on elements 1 through 4.

Pray: God, please help me to hold these tips in my heart so I can be a part of Your work to develop people around me?

(These devotions are based on: “Conversations” created by Life.Church)