If I sit across the table from a guy I’m discipling, certain that a great next step of growth for him is to begin memorizing Scripture, I have options:
- Start where he might end up to “stretch him”: memorizing a verse every day, for instance
- Start where he’s more likely to find success and can get a “taste” for growing in this way: memorizing a verse every week, maybe
Of course we’d all recognize that spiritual growth is just that: growth. Which means any spiritual discipline tends to start slower/smaller/simpler than the more robust version that God grows.
So if recruitment IS a form of discipleship (which I’ve been arguing this week), then that notion calls for us to give students a start. And often we fail here…
- “Jump into small groups” – but we don’t offer a mini-version or a taste or an easy way to slide in
- “Sign up for leadership team” – but have they gotten chances to see the leadership team in action, or participate in some way?
- “Help us run this part of our college ministry” – but could they “shadow” or “apprentice” first?
- “Join us regularly in this local service opportunity” – but we never provide an “event” that helps cast vision and give a taste of the cause
- “Do missions with us this summer” – but we’ve never offered a “missions weekend” or in-town missions experience
Where we do tend to be strong is recognizing that new recruits to the ministry itself need a front-door experience (usually the Large Group Meeting). So what if we took that philosophy to all the other things we recruit for?
And of course, sometimes we even need more “front door-ish” front doors for recruiting to ministry: like big events, not just an expectation that students will come first to our “Sing ‘n Speak” on Tuesday nights.