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Within the realm of strategy there is variety and difference in how each of us carries it out. The first strategic step is to SEE JESUS, which is to be on-message. Once you learn how important it is to refocus on being on-message with Jesus, you are launched into a most amazing context. This context tends to have a crucible effect to verify your genuineness. It’s within this context that you move into the second strategic step, in which you are invited to FOLLOW JESUS. This is being on-call to Jesus for whatever, whenever and wherever he wants. This step forges the character of Jesus in you as you faithfully learn to follow in his steps. As you follow Jesus, you will soon learn how important it is to resonate with people in need. This is activated by practicing the question in every encounter, “What can I do to help?”
The third strategic step is to GATHER with other followers of Jesus, who tend to keep you on-track with your vision of advancing the conversation of Jesus and your mission of loving God and loving others. In your first two steps, you experience what it means to know Jesus and take on his character, then to be ready to be Jesus within your world context. This is a great experience! There is nothing like it! However, you will quickly come to feel the need for the third step, to keep your momentum and strength. To be on-track is to learn how important it is to reconnect with others who are on-message and on-call. You are not meant to live the Kingdom lifestyle alone.
Being on-track is the realization of your need to never walk alone. You need to learn the power of interdependence-the dynamic of community. The Jesuits call this the principle of love. It’s learning to do life together-to make relationships work as you gather together. The beauty of this kind of gathering together is the wide variety and differences each one brings to the group. This has a sharpening effect.
Jesus pulled away from the masses and the crowds to be alone, but he always walked with a few. And, when Jesus sent out his followers, he was careful to instruct them to travel together. There is something most powerful in walking together as a compassionate team. It’s within community that you learn to love and be loved. You don’t need many, but you desperately need others in your life, those who give a rip about you and you about them.
This Kingdom lifestyle requires from each of us that we: Refocus on Jesus to shape our character-to be on-message. Resonate with the needs within your context-to be on-call. Reconnect with people as you gather in community-to be on-track. Now, how about you? Are you walking with a few who are helping you keep on track with Jesus? How’s your strategy working?