Goal #2 - Identification

I got an email last week asking for clarification about one of my New Year Resolutions. It brings up something I've been wanting to blog about, so here you go.

The two questions were with regard to goal #2 - to pour my life into 10 reproducers this year. He asked: "So how do you plan to go about identifying the 10? What does "pour my life into" look like practically?" I'll deal with the first question today, and the second question tomorrow.

When I was in college, a couple of guys took me under their wing and helped me develop as a follower of Christ. They weren't necessarily smarter than me, superior to me, or more successful than me. Neither of us was confused about that. They were just guys who were a little further down the road in the journey of following Christ, and offered to help me navigate the path. God used their investment to completely change the course of my life, and I'm committed to maximizing their investment by passing it along to others in a similar way.

Here are the things I look for as I try to identify someone to invest in:

1. Chemistry - I look for guys that I genuinely like. That sounds shallow but the relationship is the primary conduit for the process. If the relationship is difficult, everything else will be as well.

2. Trajectory - I look for a guy who is headed in the right direction. I'm not into chasing guys, babysitting Christians, or begging people to grow; that's why God created mommies and daddies.

3. Teachability - There are some guys who I like who are headed in a right direction, but who have everything figured out. They're the smartest guy in the room. Actually, I lied. I usually don't like those guys at all. Investing in them is like dumping change into a wishing well: you're wasting your cash and probably aren't going to get what you hoped for. I look for people who are eager to learn.

4. Faithfulness - Lots of people are great starters; few people are good finishers. If I'm going to maximize my investment, I need people who are going to keep carrying the torch after the new wears off. Part of the process is continuing the investment. If a guy won't do that, I'm pouring my life into a stagnant pool.

5. Availability - Some people are in a season of life where they just don't have the margin for an intentional process of spiritual growth. I look for people who have (or are willing to find) the margin to get together on a regular basis.