What You Are On To is What You Pass On

If You Are On To It, You Will Talk About It!

FIRST THEME.
What you are on to defines you. Shapes you. Fills you. Then, you begin to live out what you are on to.
My apologies to all English, grammar types, for these darn dangling prepositions.

You always live out and live according to what you are on to. 

I have a good friend who is on to something powerful about reconciliation and forgiveness between people who really don't like each other. He lives this stuff constantly. By the way, he pays the price for it.

I have a friend who is on to something urgent about seeing leaders transformed and finish well. He made some significant decisions to align his life and ministry with this passion. It cost him something to do this.

I have a friend who is really on to something important about families and marriage. She is taking the time and getting the training to actually make a real contribution. It is costing her something for wht she is on to, but what she is on to, is worth it.

All three friends are on to something and living out of, serving, ministering and making a difference about what they are on to.

If you aren't living out of and according to what you are on to, then you are really not that on to it. (As I type that, I remember the book and movie on dating that came out a few years ago. He's Really Not That Into You. You can tell by the lack of attention, interest, follow through, and lifestyle what you are or are not on to.
 

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SECOND THEME.
Now, as important as that is - it isn't enough just to live it out in your life. Do you remember the famous quote from St. Francis of Assisi? "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." The quote means - you really preach the gospel when you live it. Oh, and from time to time, you may need to give a few words of explanation.

There are TWO PROBLEMS with this quote.

FIRST PROBLEM.
St. Francis NEVER SAID IT! It is one of those urban legends that is now so spread around, everyone just assumes it to be true. You can search his entire corpus of writings and you will never find it. Someone else thought it up and attributed it to Francis.

SECOND.
St. Francis had the opposite ministry. The Franciscan Friars were a missional order of wandering preachers who constantly spoke the good news as they served the poor. Francis would not own or encourage the very thing said about him.

Francis was truly on to something. And what Francis was on to, he lived and he preached. He demonstrated and he explained. He revealed in life and in word - what he was on to. And that is what we must do as well.


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THIRD THEME.
Don't ever assume that people understand what you are on to, if you don't talk to them about it.  We see this in the early chapters of the Book of Acts. The Apostles were on to something. It was the resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He had been dead. Now he was alive. Now the Spirit of Christ was living in them. That is what they were on to and that is what was on to them. They couldn't stop talking about it. They didn't just wander around Jerusalem and wait for people to say - hmm, there is something odd and different about those fellows? Jolly good for them, whatever it is! No!

They told everyone - this is Who we are on to and Who is on to us. And it would be a very good thing for you to get on to this same Jesus. Here is how you can be on to the same Jesus we are on to. They got so good at living and speaking about this Jesus that large numbers of people began to believe and follow this same Jesus. The authorities - who by the way, WERE NOT ON TO JESUS, were understandably upset. 

And they called these living, proclaiming disciples to them and warned them not to preach any more about Jesus. Notice they did not warn them to stop living like they are on to Jesus. NO! They basically said, "go ahead and keep on living that way if you want, just don't talk any more about Jesus to others."

"To which the disciples said, "We cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard" (what we are on to). See Acts 4:16-21 for the core, but see Acts 2:1 - 4:31 for the larger story. A bit later they also pray for continued boldness to speak (Acts 4:29).

 

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FINALLY.
It is this simple. When you are really on to something, and when something is really on to you - you have to talk about it. You need to talk about it. And talking VERY WELL about it is how others get on to it as well.

The really great leaders who were on to something, learned how to pass it on to others. Certainly by living in compelling and attractive ways that demonstrated what it was they were on to. And also by speaking clearly, powerfully, persuasively about it to others.

Explaining. Clarifying. Encouraging. Inviting. Challenging. And so much more.

So - once more - what are you on to?
Who are you talking to about what you are on to?
How well are you talking about it?
What is happening in the lives of others to whom  you talk?

 

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org