“I know you love fishing and you’ve been fishing all your lives. I realize this is how you support your family. It is your family business. But I have something else I want you to consider. You know me and have seen me around the last few weeks. I want you to leave all this behind. Stop what you are doing, leave all this behind, and join my team. Follow me around for a few years and learn. You know how to catch fish. Follow me and you’ll learn how to catch men.”
While the above paragraph is in parentheses, it is not an actual monologue. But if Jesus had used the business acumen of many of today’s leaders, this might be how He would have recruited His Disciples. Instead, Jesus simply said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
“Come, Follow Me.” Simple, straight forward. This is a directive of Jesus Christ to His Disciples. Simple does not always mean easy. Simple is uncomplicated. Jesus’ directives for His followers were usually simple, uncomplicated. Jesus used three words or less in some situations. To some of His Disciples, He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” In this scenario, His directive was accompanied with a promise. “Follow me,” was the directive. The promise was “and I will make you fishers of men.”
As leaders in church and the corporate world today, we often think we are giving easy to follow directives, yet our delivery or the comprehension of others complicates the directive. These complications often lead to failed attempts or a mistaken application. Either of these will end in frustration for both parties. How can we avoid these frustrations? Here are three suggestions.
1. Simplify your directives for others by using as few words as possible. Use enough words to get the objective across without being wordy.
2. Write out your directive. Writing out your directive allows you the opportunity to see and examine it word for word to ensure it is concise and direct enough to be understood.
3. Be positive in wording and delivery. As stated in earlier posts, not one of us communicates as clearly as we believe ourselves. Record your directive just as if your charges were standing in front of you. Then play it back. How did you sound? Forceful, lackadaisical, accusatory, encouraging? Now play it back for some other person who can evaluate objectively.
The easiest directive for anyone to follow is a simple, uncomplicated one. What steps will you take today to ensure your directives are simple and uncomplicated for all to follow?
All of Jesus’ directives were accompanied by a promise, spoken or implied. The promise was something better than the current state. Are your directives accompanied by a promise? If so, will your promise have a positive impact on the lives of those following your directive?
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.
Simplify Your Directives