It is always easy to give other people advice.
This week I wrote this to a friend:
Decide which people you are going to care about and care for, and then give a rip what they think. They are your disciples, mentors, family, future, whatever.
If you choose to care what everyone thinks, you are elevating the opinions of fans to the same level as the opinions of investors. Nancy has bought the privilege of an opinion with her life. The person who clicked follow because someone said they should hasn’t bought that privilege.
I think I believe that. However, since I wrote to my friend, I’ve been wrestling with my own advice. And so, I’m asking for your involvement over this weekend. Pick one of the following questions and leave a brief answer for the rest of us.
- How much of my energy that should be given to my family is spent on feeling bad (or feeling good) about words from someone I’ve never even met? The answer to that, looking back at my life, is “way too much.” So what is the remedy, in simple practical terms?
- I know that Jesus teaches me to love everyone. I know that’s possible for him. What are the practical limits for me? How many people can I care deeply for and about?
- How many “disciples” can I have at a time? I’m not talking in some abstract “we are all followers of something” sense. I mean, how many people can I be consistently, thoughtfully, intentionally, conversationally helping to grow at a time? How many can you?
- Knowing that I will do foolish things, make controversial statements, commit to things that other people will disagree with, who are the people whose questions or comments I should care about? How do you decide? I would guess that the answer is between no one and everyone. But where?
- How often do I need to explain why I do what I do to people who haven’t bought the right to care what I do? Jesus, for example, had circles of explaining. He explained some things to no one, some things to his close circle, some things to everyone. Is that a workable model? How?
I know. It feels like a midterm exam. But maybe that’s what it is. These are questions that matter for the course we are in the middle of.
I look forward to your insights.
Here’s my post Fans and disciples
Here’s a link to my ebook on Making Disciples