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What am I leading people to? Am I leading people into programs at the expense of relationship? I wonder.
Some programs are cool. I like the ones that invite me in as a participant. I’m not too crazy about the ones that invite me in to sit on my butt and watch. I get antsy.
I confess that if you tell me the Next Big Thing is coming to town and I can go listen to him for several hours, I’m probably going to try to think of something else to do. It’s weird. I’ll read the Next Big Thing’s book and I might even watch his sweet new high def DVD but I don’t really get jazzed to go somewhere to sit around. Unless I can go with you.
You can tell me you scored some free tickets to the Patriots game and I’ll be pumped about going with you. But give me one ticket so I can go alone? I’m going to skip the live experience and fall asleep on my couch while I watch it on TV. World series alone? Nah. With you? Definitely!
I like some alone time to recharge but too much alone time and I get lonely fast. I like the word “with.” I had some alone time in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. I wandered around a little and snapped some pictures but I would have rather been with my wife or with my kids or with my family.
Invite me to live life with you and I’m pumped. Invite me to hear the Next Big Thing tell me how to live? Not so much. I think there are programs that promote crowds of individuals coming alone, listening alone and then leaving alone. You listen. I talk. You leave.
I think Jesus is about “with.” As a leader I want to lead people, or walk with people, to discover life with Jesus.
If it were up to me, I’d vote for skipping the Next Big Thing Ministries program to hang out with you and the people you love. We can grill some sausage, snack on fresh watermelon and share life hanging out with Jesus. Let’s let the yellow-haired monkeys laugh and run under the hose while we break bread together.