Other Updates:

Reflections on Leading a GRIP Team Process

Introducing Discerning Direction Together

5 Reasons to Attend Set in Motion

Dissecting the Dotted Diamond

Resilience in Ministry

The Allure of Structure

First Step in 2021

Welcome to 2021.  

It is a fresh start, a clean slate, or a relaunching, right?  January is filled with ideas and self-made promises launched and those which … well, failed to launch.  With the weight of 2020 carrying over, we all long for a bit of a boost, a shot in the arm (no pun intended), an opportunity to say, “it’s a New Year.”  Daniel Pink’s book “When” highlights the role of mentally recalibrating and its significance on our anticipation and hope with each temporal landmark he labels as ‘starting again’.  The New Year’s Resolutions – or as Paul Ford has challenged me personally to consider – New Year’s Relationships, are foundational elements for many of us as the calendar turns. 

In 2021, my question is simple: what about your calling to build unity in the Body of Christ?  I was just re-reading the story of Moses’ progression through his life, and his journey to guide the Isrealite people out of Egypt.  As is the story with all of us, he started with a failure, and then isolation.  This is followed by an encounter with the Almighty, followed by a calling.  A calling that was scary, daunting, and God-sized to say the least.  It was more than any one person could handle.  

So, how did God build Moses over time?  God brought Aaron into the story.  And God stayed in close conversation.  And God provided signs along the way.  And all of that happened in such a way that one thing is clear:  

God’s plan is a process, not a moment in time.  

See, if it were about the Exodus as a moment, God could have replaced Pharaoh with Moses.  Or maybe just created a plague for all the Egyptians to die at once.  It wasn’t God’s desire for the Isrealites or the Egyptians to suffer, rather His commitment to the process of being revealed.  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” “(Exodus 11:9 ESV)  

I had missed that before.  

God’s plan was the opportunity for others to see the process of multiple wonders along the way– both for the Egyptians as well as the Isrealites.  It built awe and reverence for the God of Moses and Aaron.  It allowed time to pass and people to process each event and encounter along the way.  And, it prepared them for a journey in the desert.

Your Grip-Birkman journey started with an experience of taking the assessment.  You learned enough to build a curiosity about how you could learn more, and how you could share the experience with others.  You attended the Coaches Training.  And, for many of you, either before that event or during, you encountered the Almighty.  You encountered unity in the Body in a new way through affirmation, transparency, and vulnerability. And, you were given a new set of tools and language to equip others alongside in their discovery journey.  

But some of us struggled through 2020.

There has been a pause.  A setback.  As a coach, maybe there is an insecurity, or a lack of confidence that has hindered you from stepping out to invite others into the Christ-revealing unity you have experienced.  

And now 2021 is an opportunity to move forward in your calling.  

Not a calling to an assessment, or to a tool, but a calling to come alongside others to build unity in the Body of Christ so that more people will know Jesus.  It’s your chance to lean into God’s calling on each of us to move from I to We.  

But let’s get practical- what could that be?  God will spark something new in you… maybe related to one of these ideas, or maybe not.  Prayerfully consider your first step in 2021 will be.  How can you advance the process of Moving from I to We?

  • Review your own assessment and find one Spiritual Gift that you would like to use more intentionally — and share your ideas with one person.
  • Invite a friend to coffee to talk about how cultural values are blocking Body Life, confess where you are struggling.  Ask for prayer.
  • Encourage your team members by sharing their unique role in the Body of Christ and how you need them.
  • Identify one team member to invite to attend a Coaches Training so you could multiple the impact in your team / organization.  Maybe even offer to pay a portion of their cost or approach your organization to contribute to their participation.  
  • Consider having your spouse, parents, or family take the Grip-Birkman and do a family team-build.
  • Offer to take a Sunday school class, short term missions team, Board, or church staff through a team process.
  • Connect with another GB Coach to talk about their experiences and how you can share in some activity to build unity together.
  • Reach out to talk with your high school ministry leaders about next steps for students and how the Grip-Birkman can be used in understanding God’s Will for us.
  • Write an article to share with your community (and hopefully us as well) about the impact of moving from I to We 
  • Commit to attending Coaches Cafe’s, Connect Conversations, or other learning opportunities to continue your own learning
  • Pray for those who are very different from you, and ask God for opportunities to build unity together. 

Why is a practical, tangible, prayer-saturated first step in 2021 important?  

To create change, the forces for change must be greater than the resistance against the change… with a strong first step. 


May the God of all creativity challenge you in one way to further the Body of Christ on our shared journey from I to We.  May our unity be Christ-revealing in 2021 and beyond.  

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