In 1983 Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple, sat with John Scully, the CEO of Pepsi, and challenged him with this question: “Scully do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” That question caused Scully to leave Pepsi and serve as CEO of Apple for the next ten years.
Jesus laid down a similar challenge to a man he encountered on the road to Jerusalem, “He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father. “Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60.
Here’s a guy who seems to have a valid excuse. Burial of parents was a high priority in that culture. But the truth is we’re not sure if this guys father had actually died or not. Many commentators indicate that this man would not be on the road to Jerusalem if his father had died, he would be at home with mourners preparing for the funeral. So either way he was actually telling Jesus, “I am interested but not yet.”
As leaders it will be common for us to encounter team members who are INTERESTED but not COMMITTED. So what do you do in this case? Well, I love Jesus response, he presents the guy with two options…
First – You can choose do what any ordinary person can do. When he says, “let the dead bury the dead” he is speaking metaphorically. In other words, those who are spiritually dead can take care of these simple, non-spiritual tasks. OR Option two…
Two – You can choose to use your life to make significant impact. Jesus says, “You go proclaim the Kingdom of God.” The word for “proclaim” is “diaggellō” which means, “to announce everywhere or publish abroad”. Jesus is casting a compelling vision and having this man consider how he will invest his life. He is inviting this man to help change the world.
To raise the level of commitment…help followers feel the significance of the vision.