This week, we will discuss the discipleship pillar of initiative. This is the beginning of discipleship. In order to create and build relationships with people, we must initiate and move toward people.
When we consider our “woven” theme, initiation is where we start “weaving the net.” Each person is a string; as we initiate with others, our lives begin to intertwine. As we foster relationships, we do life together and walk alongside each other. The strings connect to form a strong bond. And because of this strong bond, discipleship becomes possible.
In order to be in relationship with people and make disciples, we must initiate. As you may know, initiate means to start something or to teach someone the basics of something. Similarly, initiative means, “the energy and desire that is needed to do something” (Merriam-Webster).
In order to initiate, we need to be intentional. When we are intentional, we start conversations with others, we see needs and meet them, we listen, we love, we serve, we give, and we care. Initiative is a “moving toward” people. This is the “Go” of the Great Commission.
How do we move toward others? Let’s consider how Jesus moved toward us. In Ephesians 2:4–6, Paul said, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” In what ways has God moved toward us? He comes to us in our worst place, when we are spiritually dead, when we can do nothing—not even reach out a hand to Him.
When He comes to us, He makes us alive. He gives us life, breath, hope, vision, and a future. And He doesn’t stop there; He then raises us up with Him. He takes us to a better place—a place of fellowship with Him.
With the help of God and through discipleship, we have the opportunity to move toward others in all types of settings and situations. We can show others true life, breath, hope, freedom, grace, mercy, and love in the same ways Christ has shown it to us. This is our motivation. This is what compels us: Christ’s irrational love for us.
In order to fully understand initiating or moving toward others, think about the ways people have moved toward you throughout your life. Who are the people who have come alongside you during a difficult time? Who are the people who have celebrated with you? Who are the people who have shown you Christ? By initiating with others, we get to be those people who come alongside others and show them Christ through our actions.