A friend challenged me once: “Kirk, you think you’re planting tomatoes, but you’re harvesting beets. And, when you don’t get tomatoes, you just work harder and harder planting and watering and fertilizing those same seeds. Beet seeds.”

Derek wasn’t taking about vegetables; he was taking about my marriage.

Unwilling to examine the seed I’d been sowing in my family, I just upped the ante, laboring more diligently…producing more and more “beets”…

Last night I met a wonderful pastor and the elders of his church not far from Miami. A member of my CRM team and I were there to introduce them to the amazing reFocusing Network Process: a two-year transformational pathway for churches desiring to impact their communities for Christ. Never have I met a more sincere team of leaders, each wanting to introduce the Savior to neighbors who – presently – have no interest in Christ.

Their enthusiasm for the community was palpable, contagious, inspiring. As we were introduced, the pastor spoke confidently of their commitment to engage those outside the church. “We’re very active in the community”, he explained. “We’ve adopted a public school and, when school starts, we provide backpacks with school supplies for the students. At Thanksgiving, we give turkeys and groceries to families in need. And, at Christmas time, we give $50 and $100 gift cards to school families who otherwise couldn’t afford gifts for their kids. We do this with no strings attached; not to coerce them to join our church or to promote ourselves. We do it to love them in Jesus’ name.”

As our presentation began, they were invited to consider that, excellent as their intentions are, they’d been in the wrong game. “See, people don’t need your stuff nearly as much as they need you.

These days, people stay away from church on purpose. They’ve decided Christianity doesn’t have the remedy for what ails them; we don’t have the scratch for their itch.  And while it’s not a bad thing to provide what people lack, receiving things from well-meaning people does little to uproot these assumptions.

What people really need is you … on the other end of that backpack.

Regular, repeated, positive, life-on-life experiences with Christians who are postured to love and serve them unconditionally.

As people have multiple, positive encounters with you, they begin to question some of what they’ve assumed about Christ. Over time, you become credible – not based on what you know – but how you live. Eventually, some will trust you with the most important conversations of life.

Tomatoes!

 

Coaching Distinctions 33.doc