As a Christian, you have the ability to bring others ever closer to their God-given potential. All throughout the Bible you see honorable men and women mentoring and investing in others. We have names like Moses and Joshua, Naomi and Ruth, Paul and Timothy . . . just to name a few.
If you read yesterday’s article you understand the power that comes from investing in yourself. Let me assure you that investing in yourself comes first. It is how you honor God with all that you are. Once you have your purpose in place, it’s time to invest in others.
Let me say it simply: The world needs people to believe in them. Each individual you meet is craving for someone to notice how God created them.
The more we believe in people, the more we show God’s love to those around us. Just look at social media comments and you can easily see how people are treated.
Our world is a vacuum for positivity. There are so many people in this world just craving one little compliment to let them know they are worthy. That one compliment may be just what they need to keep them moving forward in life.
I guess it all boils down to the question, who do I invest in?
I know that each situation is different, but let’s look at how Jesus spread out his time.
- He spoke to crowds of people in open markets. (1000’s)
- He had a large group of disciples that followed him. (100’s)
- He had a small group that He lead and talked to personally. (10’s)
- He had an even smaller group that He empowered. (1’s)
Jesus spoke to crowds of 5000 or more. He had over 500 people who were following him as disciples. He had 12 disciples in his core and he had 3 disciples in his inner core (Peter, James and John).
We should take Jesus as an example of our lives. We have 1000’s on social media. We may impact 100’s with our business. We probably have 10 or so people that we can really see potential in and we probably can hone that down to three people who really need accountability, inspiration and motivation.
That is as simple as it gets. Find someone to teach (lead) and set the example for them. Talk to them specifically and if you can create a small group of three people working together you will have a strong core of people to invest in who can hold each other accountable.
The next two areas: inspiration and motivation, are similar, but I want you to see them as different. Think of inspiration as encouragement and motivation as challenging. For instance you may send a hand written note of encourage to one of your core about a project they completed. On the other hand, you may send that same person a book on how to better manage a project if the project did not go quite as planned. In each instance, you are helping that person move forward in understanding how God created that individual.
Inspiration and motivation are two side to investing others. Paul had Barnabas as an encourager, but if you study their relationship, you will see that Barnabas often challenged, strengthened and questioned what Paul did.
Remember Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
If you have ever sharpened a blade, there are times when you need to scrape off the rough spots in order to get a good clean edge. After you get a good clean edge, you then smooth that edge and keep it sharp.
Use this example and find three people you can help. It can be formal in a group setting or informal as you go about your day to day business. Be careful about ‘playing favorites’ if you work with a large number of people. You want to be seen as fair and honorable to everyone.
Motivate, Inspire, and hold others accountable, that is how simple it is to invest in others. You don’t need formal training, you just need a good listening ear and a little bit of time. If you have invested in yourself, you will be closer to God and by doing so you will bring others closer to Him.
Quick note of caution: Always work with same gender groups. If you are a male and want to mentor some women in your office, make sure you have a group to work with and never be alone with one of them to avoid any office talk or accusations.