Four Lessons for Raising Commitment Level, Pt 3

July 10, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership, Recruitment
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We’ve all probably heard the saying, “A half commitment is no commitment at all.”  Well, there’s a very real danger when someone is half committed to a cause.  It’s obvious because they’re distracted,  habitually absent or late, they make mistakes and seem overall disengaged.  When someone on your team has this type of variable commitment level it steals energy from your efforts.  It feels like the team isn’t firing on all cylinders.   

In Luke 9:60 Jesus runs into a man who’s commitment was divided, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.’  While he seems to have a reasonable request, Jesus words reveal what was behind this man’s heart.  Jesus responded, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61)

Everyone in that culture would know if a farmer plowing a field keeps looking back over his shoulder his rows will be crooked making his field difficult to work.  But come on, be reasonable, was this man’s desire to say “goodbye” to his family really a danger to the mission?   The verbs Jesus uses give us further insight, “putting his hand to the plow”, is in Aorist tense -past complete action.  And “looks back” is in Present tense – continuous action.  In other words he’s saying, “The man who has already made a commitment and has put his hand to the plow and is in the midst of plowing that field, cannot continually be looking back over his shoulder at the past.”

Jesus didn’t want someone on his team with divided commitment.  In fact, we gain even further insight when Jesus said the person who looks back is not “fit” for service in the Kingdom of God.  The word “fit” is “euthetos” a Greek compound word made up of  “Good” and “Fit”.  In other words Jesus is telling this man, “This is not a good fit for you.”

Raising Commitment Level Lesson #3 – Be Honest and help people find their fit.  If someone on your team is not fully committed to the cause, then it is likely they’re unhappy and draning the team of energy.  Be honest with them and help them find their fit…it’s only fair to both of you. And when you help them find their fit, their commitment level will go up.

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Mac Lake

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