The Doctrine of Selectivity – Part 1

Calling Of Matthew
Some of my greatest mistakes in ministry have been when I have failed, for one reason or another, to embrace this principle of leadership selection.

“This principle of selectivity and concentration is engraved in the universe, and will bring results no matter who practices it, whether the church believes it or not. Some might object to this principle when practiced …on the ground that favoritism is shown toward a select group in the church. But be that as it may, it is still the way that Jesus concentrated His life, and it is necessary if any permanent leadership is to be trained.”

– Robert Coleman in The Master Plan of Evangelism, Chapter 1

In cultures such as mine where egalitarianism strongly influences our understanding of fairness, notions of selectivity run against the grain. If “all men (and women) are created equal,” how can we choose, as Jesus so clearly did, without it appearing discriminatory and prejudicial?

The facts are that sanctified selectivity:

1. Enables one to physically manage relationships and not be spread too thin,
2. Makes it possible to go deep with a few so that the life-change is profound,
3. Is an acknowledgment that not everyone has the gifts and calling to be the object of such intense leadership development,
4. Recognizes that God is at work at different paces and stages with each individual,
5. Is always a means to a much greater end,
6. Is an essential for the sustainability of any movement.

– (Painting is “The Calling of Matthew” by Hendrick Terbrugghen (1588-1629) of the Dutch Utrecht school).

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