Every college and university with an athletic program annually contacts possible recruits. After the initial contacts, with the follow-up needed to gain a commitment, recruiters await the decision of the recruit, his or her value determining the angst experienced by the recruiters.
A recruit’s initial interest, or oral commitment, doesn’t automatically “seal the deal.” In April, 2015, a young man from Seattle changed his commitment from San Diego State’s basketball program to Oregon’s basketball program. A young man who had committed to Arizona State “de-committed” when State’s coach was fired.
We don’t know at the time of writing how these, and other changes, will affect the athletic programs of the schools. We do know the above procedures have spiritual implications. Consider a few.
One, God recruits every accountable-age person as a disciple of Christ. Taking no account of our color, race, or sex, God demands only faith in his Only Begotten Son.
Two, God never inquires into our mental, economic, emotional, or spiritual prowess before calling us. While he may have use for particular giftedness—the apostle Paul’s mission to the Gentiles as an example—God knows his Spirit will have to make all disciples equal to their calling, the apostle Paul’s ministry not excepted. Christ’s choice of the Twelve proves how essential God’s Spirit was and is to successful discipleship. As this writer has repeatedly stressed in his multi-volume series Their Own Best Defense, an unlikelier group of spiritual incompetents couldn’t have been found in Israel.
Three, Jesus found that potential recruits experienced fluctuating feelings about him. They ranged from curiosity, to interest, to conviction, to commitment. Andrew and John, the first duo of the initial six disciples, who with them and Eleven of the Twelve proved permanent followers. The treacherous Judas, with all their original faith, but lacking their perseverance, ultimately betrayed.
Luke, a disciple of Christ from at least the early part of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey, remained faithful to Jesus. He also became the famed chronicler of Paul’s life and work. He remained with the apostle after his second imprisonment and coming death. Demas, who actively served with Paul, eventually left the spiritual life for the call of secular Thessalonica II Timothy 4:10. John Mark began as promising helper of Paul and Barnabas, soon faltered in his commitment, returned home, contemplated his decision, returned to his calling and became author of the Second Gospel.
Jesus calls us…everyone…plays no favorites…uses each as fruitfully as we allow…never casts us out…gives us the freedom to walk away. What kind of recruit will we be of our Recruiter?