We have to find our people, our tribe, because the mission to which God has called us requires a team. For us it is about the people with whom we will partner in a big way or a small way to accomplish the mission God has given us together.
Who Are Your People?
God has given you an unique message or calling, something that appeals to and targets a specific group of people. Call them your “people” or your “tribe,” whatever you call them, they are the people to whom you are called, they are the ones who resonate with what God is doing through you.
When we adjust our message, our thing, to make it appeal to a broader audience, if we aren’t careful, or should I say, carefully following the path of the Holy Spirit, our message could become ineffectual to our calling and to our “tribe.”
It is obvious how this applies to businesses. If people love a product or service because it meets a specific need or want, they buy it. If it is so-so and they can take it or leave it, they usually leave it. Focused excellence seems to be better than broad mediocrity.
We usually start out with a broad focus and then narrow down into our niche, as our calling or our “zone” becomes clearer to us. When we start narrow and then try to broaden in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience, the first people who were drawn into the circle may become disinterested because the thing that attracted them, the thing that moved them to link arms with us got watered down or no longer exists and they move on.
When you broaden your focus you will lose the interest of those who were drawn to the unique message flowing through you.
I’ve seen church leaders change the vision of the church, and then be hurt and disappointed because some people left. It is to be expected. Every time the vision changes, everyone has to re-evaluate their calling or interest.
Product or service based businesses who change their primary offering and focus must expect some people may not have a need, calling, or interest in the “new and improved” offerings.
When we broaden our focus in an attempt to include more people, the narrow focus and priority given to some things will dissipate.
When first laying the groundwork for Calibrate360, I was tempted to make our focus broader. I thought about watering down the spirituality because I could anchor in universally applicable leadership principles. I thought the larger the pond, the greater the potential for reaching people.
In my journey, I was immediately prompted by the Holy Spirit that my passionate spirituality was the thing that had made the difference in my life, and if I delivered a message void of that passionate spirituality, I would rob people of that unique message, and eliminating the transformational element would make my message ineffective.
You have to know your values.
You have to know your mission.
You have to know the tribe to which you are called.
When you narrow your focus, you will lose the interest of those who were following you because of a specific thing that is no longer your focus.
As we niche down into the passions that prompt the fulfillment of our calling, not everyone is going to go on that journey with us — and we have to be okay with that.
In John 6, Jesus niched down. He started talking about death and crucifixion and the real cost of following him. He had many, many disciples following him, but after His infamous message recorded in John 6, most of them walked away.
There were 12 left.
Jesus, looking at the 12, said (paraphrased), “What about you guys? Are you going to leave too?”
All twelve of them stood there staring at either Jesus or the ground.
Finally, Peter said, “Lord, you are the only one who gives life, we’ve got nowhere else to go.”
What a consolation. They weren’t staying because they particularly wanted to, it was simply that what they wanted, needed, and were called to was not available anywhere else. They were a tribe, they were a people.
Know who your people are, know your zone.
Our life focus has shifted.
When our spouses died, our tribe changed, a lot, actually.
When we left our post of leadership with our Indiana fellowship and committed to a mission in Africa, our tribe changed, a lot, actually. Not everyone who were “our people” gets it, wants to get it, or will get it. That is to be expected. They are still friends, they are still loved.
As we move into the zone of a passion for Africa, it’s people, it’s leaders, and most of all the heart of God toward that continent, we have to find our team.
We don’t even see ourselves as the leaders or the point of this team. We are on mission, along with hundreds of others to listen to and follow the heartbeat of God regarding the continent of Africa.
We are looking for our “people.” We are looking for the other members of our “tribe.” They are out there and it is up to us to find them one at a time, so together we can see an increasingly redeemed and transformed Africa.
How do you find your “people” or your “tribe”?
In Ezekiel 37, the prophet Ezekiel writes about a vision of a large valley full of the dried bones of what was once a mighty army. The bones were scattered. God asked Ezekiel if these bones could live again. Ezekiel replied, “Only you know, Lord.”
God directed Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones to come together, and they did. God put muscle and flesh on the bones.
God directed Ezekiel to prophesy to the Wind (the Spirit) to breathe into the lifeless bodies, and when the Spirit came into them, they came to life, restored as a mighty army.
We are looking for our partners. We know some of them, but most of them, we don’t know who they are or where they are.
Will these partners come together to fulfill the mission of God? Only God knows.
How does team Africa come together? Only God knows.
Once the team, the partners are assembled, how will they effectively accomplish such a great task? By the life that comes from the breath of the Spirit.
How do you find your “people,” or your “tribe”? You follow the Wind. You follow your passionate spirituality. You narrow down into your calling, your zone. You know what you are about and you know what God is calling you to do, and that will resonate with other people to whom God has stirred the same thing within them. They may not even know it yet, but they will be inspired when they hear it or see it. You will link arms with them because you, at least in part, are called to the same thing they are.
This is not about finding the people who will help YOU fulfill YOUR vision, this is about God’s people coming together with a common resonance to the part of God’s mission upon which they will work together.
We have to find our people, our tribe because the mission to which God has called us requires a team. For us it is about the people with whom we will partner in a big way or a small way to accomplish the mission God has given us together.
You are not the only one called to the zone to which you are called. There is a mighty army scattered about. It is up to God to shake the bones and pull them together, it is up to the Spirit to breath life into them to empower them for the task, but it is up to us to prophesy to the bones and to the wind, that God may move on our behalf, assemble a team, and privilege us to be on that team.