When you as a leader look around your spheres of influence, you’ll probably notice that the opportunities usually far outweigh your resources. So what do you do? The Best Leader Ever made it simple:

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” 
– Matthew 9:37-38

For years I’ve been following this instruction, constantly praying that God will provide the leaders we need to carry out the mission he’s given us. I do not recruit in the normal way that we usually think of recruiting. Rather, I ask, wait on God, watch expectantly, and then talk to the people God sends me. This is an active, not passive, approach, but I let God, not me, be in control of the process.

Today, I was reading Exodus 31, which sheds additional light on this approach. God was talking to Moses on the mountain about the building of his Tabernacle:

“Look, I have chosen Bezalel…. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. Yes, he is a master at every craft!”
– Exodus 31:2-5
God not only sends workers into his harvest fields, he fills them and gifts them to carry out his work. He never calls us to do something without providing the resources to carry it out. So why would we ever work from our own limited resources to do his work? In verse 6, God continues,
“Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make.”
Some people are “naturally talented” at certain skills. It’s part of how God created them in the first place. Even to them, God gives “special skill” to carry out the work he wants accomplished. This is more about God’s calling and gifting than our recruiting and training. A leader after God’s own heart takes ample time to listen to God and lets him lead. He knows that God is calling and gifting people all around us to carry out the mission he has given us.
God has called and gifted me as a leader in his church. I have a choice today to either:
  • in my own power and wisdom, make a list of potential people I think might be good team members, then make an appointment and recruit them to join my team, or
  • ask the Lord of his church to send to me the people he has called, knowing he has gifted them to carry out what God has given us to do. I can ask him to give me the spiritual eyes to see them when he puts them in front of me and the wisdom to ask them to join us in what God is calling us to do.
No doubt about it, I’m choosing the second option. How about you?

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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