Bless many, invest in few
I’ve recently created a new word: Inblesting.
It’s something between blessing and investing. Kind of a silly term, but I think it will help us wrestle through the difficulty of selection.
If you’ve ever wondered how Jesus selected the people He ministered, you will find He blessed many but invested in few.
Ministering on campus, we are constantly having to make decisions about whom we should bless, and in whom we should invest.
Over the years, deliberating between blessing and investing has felt a bit constrictive and forced. It seemed to me that we needed something in the middle.
In terms of time, inblesting is a period you use to determine if the Lord wants you to bless or invest in someone.
At the beginning of the year, you should probably be doing a lot of it.
Early on, you don’t know which of your new students will be someone to invest in and which won’t. So, you spend time with them and ask the Lord, while being more reserved with them than you would with someone you are fully invested in.
Give it some time to see if you hit it off. Observe them and see if they are a person of F.A.I.T.H. (Faithful, Available, Initiator, Teachable, Heart for God and people).
You can inblest in more people than you can invest. So, early on in the year, if you’re a student, you could feasibly inblest in three to five people. But, once you’ve gathered enough data, you want to answer the question, “Who should I bless and in whom should I invest?”
Bear in mind that blessing someone does NOT mean you overlook or ignore them, but for right now, you aren’t giving them as much time as you possibly could.
But you should ask, “How can I bless them in a way that won’t require much time, but still ministers and moves them along in their relationship with Jesus?”
This doesn’t take much time at all. Start by going through the list of people you’re blessing and asking yourself and the Lord “What are their needs?”
You could send them an article or book or invite them to do a 30-day quiet time challenge together.
Maybe prepare your Bible studies together one week or, if you don’t have time for that, simply text them to let them know you’re praying for them.
It could even mean connecting them with another believer that you think could help them.
You really can bless someone without investing much time.
So, when you decide you’re moving someone into your bless category, don’t decide that you’re giving up on them!
Often times, someone who has been in my bless category (which doesn’t actually exist on paper as much as in my mind) ends up becoming someone that the Lord leads me to invest in later.
The number one reason most Christians don’t make disciples who make disciples is because they haven’t ever really invested.
Don’t make the mistake of discipling one or two students and never teaching them to do the same!
Both you and the student should know that you are investing in him or her.
It doesn’t happen on the backstroke or without intention, vision, and sacrifice. It means that you’re taking responsibility for their development, as well as their walk with God.
Obviously, they are responsible for their own growth, but you are the one guiding and training them as they grow. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 4:15, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2)
Don’t get stuck in blessing and inblesting and never make it to investing. Pray and look for Philippians 2:20-22 students.