by Mason Rutledge, President
For the C3 Leaders’ B2B Devotional on the Prologue to John’s Gospel, I’ve been working on the devotion for John 1:14, the first half of which reads,
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (NIV) or
The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood (The Message).
God didn’t need to move anywhere…let alone this place. He lived in perfect community. God could even say that He had already “made an effort” with the Garden, the Law and even clearing the slate with Noah. Why not stay in His ideal, comfortable little trinity. They had thrived together since the start of time.
Yet, God initiated. He moved. He didn’t wait for us to ask. He initiates. That is His call.
As a leader, you initiate. In C3 Leaders, our C3 Forum Chairs “move” C3 members. We don’t wait for them to ask. We initiate. That is the call of a leader.
What was the price of God’s initiation? It’s a terrible, long list. He was treated as a criminal. His legacy was scandalized throughout history. He was rejected by His best friends. He paid the ultimate price of death.
What is the price of your initiation? Obviously it’s nothing compared to God’s cost, but there is still a cost. It’s mostly the expense of personal pride and loneliness. No one ever invites the boss out to lunch. Very few people ask, how can I help? Initiating is a lonely job. How many people have you invited to dinner? And how many people have invited you to dinner? I get it. The call to initiate is a bear.
Here’s the good news. Anytime you can put your time, priorities, or pride under serving Christ, good things happen. St. John Paul II said, “All human sufferings are capable of being infused with the same power of God manifested in Christ’s cross.” It is good to align your journey with God’s journey.
What would happen if you stopped initiating?
Well, those for which you have been initiating call you, again and again. They ask where you have been and if you are okay. They email you. They let you know that they miss you and your initiation. They ask about your spouse and even ask about your kids, by name. They share that they don’t know how they are going to make it without your leadership. Since you aren’t initiating, they are lost. They long for your leadership and tell you so. You are so missed. They send you a $20 gift certificate to Big 5 just to say “Thank you soooo much.”
…Wrong! What really happens if initiators don’t initiate? What happens if you don’t initiate?
That’s right. Nothing.
People don’t meet. Growth doesn’t happen. People aren’t challenged. New levels of growth aren’t experienced. Connections aren’t made. The body of Christ is not lifted up. Individuals and the community suffer…and no one calls.
So, thank you for initiating. Reach out. Contact. Herd those cats. It’s because of your work that people will meet, grow, be challenged and experience new levels of the Lord.
Don’t stop initiating. Even through the greatest of challenges, God did not retreat.
God initiates. We must imitate.
And if you need a $20 gift card to Big 5, just let me know.
In His grip – Mason