I was chatting on the phone last week with Joel and mentioned something that came to me one day as I was coaching a church planter.  It was like one of those “epiphany” moments.  Joel asked me to do a post on what I call the “10-5-1” plan.

This plan is rooted in prayer, keeps you active in meeting new people, and serves as a practical way to invite people to your cell and/or celebration.  In simplest terms, here’s how the “10-5-1” works.

Meet 10 new people every week.  These people include the young lady who served you coffee, the attendant at the gas station, the mailman, and more.  Introduce yourself to them and get their name.  Write down their name in your prayer journal and a reminder to yourself where you met them.  Begin to pray that God would bless them and work in their lives.  You are not required at this point to have a lengthy conversation with these individuals.  Be friendly.

Of these 10 individuals, strive to have a longer conversation with 5 (of the 10) during the course of the week.  Listen well.  Ask questions.  “What do you do for fun when you’re not working?”  “When I met you yesterday, you were doing thus and so….how did that go?”  You are seeking to open up the lines of communication at this stage.  You are providing care and comfort.  Again, you are listening.  Continue to pray.

Finally, of these 10 individuals, invite 1 to your cell and/or celebration.  This invite does not have to take place immediately.  You may choose not to invite a certain individual for a few weeks or so.  No sweat.  God is in charge.  You are praying, forming new friendships, and being used by Him to simply INVITE!!

If you employed this 10-5-1 plan, then your sphere of relationships would increase dramatically, wouldn’t it?  You would know SO MANY PEOPLE in your town.  You would be spending more time in focused prayer for others.  I would also guess you would be “loving your neighbor” like never before.

One caution.  There’s no hook or catch affixed to the 10-5-1.  Again, God is in control.  You are simply being used by Him to love and befriend others.  You speak and act like Jesus and leave the results to Him. 

To some, this plan may feel too mechanical.  You may even ask:  “Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbor anyways?”  “Why do we need to employ such a formula like the 10-5-1?”  I can totally empathize with you.  If you are a “go with the flow,” no schedule type of person, then the 10-5-1 can easily be chucked.

I would encourage you to think about the difference between a swamp and a river.  One major difference is that a river has banks and a swamp does not.  Generally, a river’s current flows in the same direction while the waters that make up a swamp flow in a variety of directions.

The 10-5-1 is a tool, not a rule.  It’s an intentional plan to keep you focused on the harvest.  Remember in the early days of the cell movement in America?  We would say– “The leadership is in the harvest.”  It’s still true!


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