Especially when I teach on how to develop a Signature Participation Project–one of the core elements of introductory discipleship in Transformational Giving (check out this post to learn more about SPPs and to see an example)–there are some people who respond by sighing, ‘I’m just not creative. I can’t come up with any cool ideas like that.’
The assumption is that the creation of SPPs and P/E/O champion maps is the province of the creative–those whose pens whirr on restaurant napkins as great ideas fly by the minute.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Transformational Giving is a discipleship process, not a creative process.
The creation of SPPs and P/E/O champion maps are products of:
- diligent scripture study
- reverse engineering the experience God has painstakingly walked us through to grow us as champions in the cause
- interviewing other champions to learn how they were discipled in the cause
- holding up all of this in prayer and fasting
The basic coaching/discipleship premise of Transformational Giving is that God is growing us in the image of His Son. He does so by leading us through certain experiences. These are not ‘works’ that save us. They are discipling experiences that shape us. Ephesians 2:10 says it this way:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do [emphasis mine].
Ephesians 4:11-12 shows us that God raises up leaders to discover, equip, and walk with His people through those works:
It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be apostles, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service [emphasis mine]…
You’ll notice that what is called for on the part of leaders is not creativity but rather discernment: What are these works of service that God has prepared? How can I help people walk in them?
Or, as one of the regional directors of World Gospel Mission put it when I was doing training there last week, ‘The Bible calls us to go unto all nations and make disciples. All Eric is saying is that part of the process is making missions disciples in our own nation.’
Bingo. Bingo bango bongo. Supremely well put!