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Setting the Stage for Transition

The scenes change through transitions.

Team work. That's what it takes to successfully pull off a theatrical performance. Each person, from stage crew, to lights, to costumes, needs to have a good understanding of their individual role. Each person has a different gift that will ultimately help the production team meet the desired effect by the end of each performance. It is the job of the director to clearly map out each detail of the performance for everyone involved. The director has to have a vision before even starting auditions. That vision has to be communicated clearly to the team. When one scene ends, everyone should transition smoothly into the next scene. And with the result of a successful performance, the name remembered most by others will probably be the most outstanding actor or vocalist of the night. Not the director.

For about six years, I had the privilege of teaching music and drama at our church's elementary school. A couple of years after moving away, someone asked what I missed most. The answer came easy........I missed helping children discover gifts and talents that they may not have realized they had. I missed helping them become more confident in who they were. I missed loving on them and helping to set the stage that would build a foundation to help the transition into their future lives.

That's what mentoring is about. It's not a "help me build my kingdom'' mentality. Instead, it is a lifestyle of helping others grow personally and find their own voice. It's being mindful of God's kingdom and not our own. We search for the gifts and talents of each individual and help them transition into their 'part' in this performance called life.

Parenting was such a joy to me. And now, so is being a grandparent. I adore my grandchildren, but they are not mine to hold on to. They belong to their parents and God. Not me. Talking with a friend, I listened as she shared the possibility of her daughter moving across country. That move would mean her grandson live far away. Her words were, "How can they take that little boy from me?"

As much as the statement shows her strong love for the child and her disappointment over the possibility of missing him, it made me think more about being kingdom minded. For years I have known the possibility of having my family eventually scattered, not just across the nation, but across the world. It's a transition in my life that I am now facing this coming month. I could ask, "Shouldn't they stay and help build our ministry with us? Isn't that the norm? Kids growing up and taking over the family business/ministry is normal life, right?" But even when I start wish all my family would live close to me, that still small voice whispers, "They are doing what you taught them to do. Following Me."

Such true words. They have been taught not to follow my calling, but to find out who they are in Christ and follow His calling for them. Paul taught that each of us has a different calling. Some pastors. Some teachers. Some plant. Some water. Each is to seek direction from the Master Director and fulfill their role in order to have His vision successfully come to pass.

Years ago, there was a song by Joni Erickson Tada that echoed in my heart. It spoke to me because of my passion for theater as well as my heart to follow my calling. One portion stood out the most:

"You've given me the lines. You showed the right reflection.

You gave me a reflection of what I need to say.

So many want to lead. And so many times I follow.

Lord, let me not be hollow like men in those other plays.

O Lord, dear Lord, great author of the play, may I in wisdom learn the only part I need to play is the part that You wrote for me.

The part that You wrote for me."

Transition comes with life. As a mentor, it is not my place to expect others to remain with me and not transition to their own calling. Just because I spend time pouring into someone doesn't mean they will stay by my side the rest of their lives. Just as I wanted to find MY part, I should want that for others as well. If I can grasp the concept of being kingdom minded, I can start to think on a larger scale. One from God's view point.

Mark 16:15 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

And He set the stage for their transitioning from being disciples to making disciples. That's how we reach a larger group. Art of duplication. And rejoice with them when they find the place He has called THEM to. When we mentor, we are setting the stage for their success wherever God takes them.

Listen to that voice today and set the stage for someone else. Your harvest may actually come as you are backstage during lights on. But trust the Heavenly director who holds the details. And be prepared to transition into the ultimate life performance which will be completed right on schedule!

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