This is the last in my series on the meaning of “REACH” and our five values built upon honoring, connecting, affecting, equipping, and now releasing. If you look at these values as layers of a foundation, releasing is the top layer, from here everything else is built upon the foundation. To “release” people means we do not hold “on to them” they are not “our people”, we build people up, encouraging their identities in Christ, to seek their gifts and calling, to be known and loved deeply, and when an opportunity presents itself we happily and gratefully release people into ministry, with or without us. The desire to see people released and sent (well commissioned) for the work is the end and the beginning of our vision for Poland.
Jesus himself had some words to say about the idea of workers for the field:
35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”Matthew 9:35-38 NLT
Providing opportunity for this to happen is essential in the idea of releasing. Creating the atmosphere where it is OK to fail, and where learning is encouraged is the key to creating a movement of “release-ship”. The core of this idea is inviting and expecting everyone to share their spiritual walk, the dry times, the exciting times, and the terrible times. Through sharing our spirits are built up, ministry is welcomed, and the restoration power of God is released. This is the DNA of “release-ship”, authentic discipleship making through sharing and exercising what God has given us. Practically this looks like bible studies, outreaches, and other leadership opportunities which rotate. A culture of inviting people into leadership, mentoring, and intentional times of gathering to celebrate, and to share our mistakes.
For your journey:
- If you were disciplining people how would you release them?
- What kind of opportunities to learn, grow, and lead would you provide disciples to prepare them to be sent?
- What kind of values and foundation are important to you, the community, and the Church, to build up a person ready to go work the field?