“On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers,
Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city;
Because the palaces will be forsaken,
The bustling city will be deserted.
The forts and towers will become lairs forever,
A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks —
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
Though hail comes down on the forest,
And the city is brought low in humiliation.
Blessed are you who sow beside all waters,
Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.”
— Isaiah 32:13-20 (NKJV)
In the warnings found in Isaiah 32:13-20, I see a description that clearly fits some places in the current world. Much formerly inhabited land is covered with thorns and briers because no one takes care of it, including prime farmland and forests filled with land mines and unexploded ordinance remaining from Godless wars in dozens of nations. Even when such dangers don’t exist, I often see uncaring waste such as once-beautiful athletic fields, formerly filled with eager athletes from dawn to dusk, now long neglected and filled instead with flourishing weeds. In many towns, I see sagging disrepair affecting what were once happily occupied homes and sites of successful business that have long been vacant. On trips to some parts of Europe, I see more ruins of palaces and castles than well-maintained former residences of kings and princes. You can also travel to many parts of the western United States and find dust-blown “ghost” towns that were once thriving communities but are now long abandoned. Wild donkeys can be found grazing on tumbleweeds in many such deserted towns. Likewise, many of the cities whose inhabitants God condemned in the Old Testament no longer exist except as buried remains excavated by archeologists to corroborate the Bible’s prophecies.
Despite such evidence that the time of there being an abundance of fruitful fields and forests described by the Lord in Isaiah has not yet arrived, for almost 2,000 years God’s Holy Spirit has been poured into those who have repented of their sins, accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and prayed in His name for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In addition, the Holy Spirit surrounds everyone, including lost people whose hearts are being nudged to open to Him.
Evidence that part of God’s promises in Isaiah 32 have been and are being fulfilled can be found all around us: He told us that wildernesses will become fruitful fields, and we have seen many deserts bloom with rich crops through irrigation and fertilization, including parts of Israel; He said that justice and righteousness will dwell everywhere, and we have seen war criminals brought back in chains from international safe havens for trial; and He related that righteous people who follow Him will be busy in fruitful fields, and we have seen astonishing improvements in agriculture, medicine, and other activities that support healthy living.
In these verses God promises us the potential for enjoying more righteousness, peace, and plenty through the power of the Holy Spirit raining upon us, even though this is a fallen world. What great gifts these are that we have received while we await Jesus’ return to reign on Earth!
Christians who sow through witnessing and good works beside the living water of God’s grace continually demonstrate how the righteous can bring quietness and assurances of better things to come to believers and to the lost. His followers enjoy His peace in their spirits now, regardless of any economic (damage from “hail”), emotional (“humiliation”), and physical turmoil (“thunderstorms”) around them. The number of believers in Christ Jesus has grown mightily since His sacrifice on the cross, from a handful in Jerusalem to vast multitudes around the world, providing evidence of the greatest harvest of all.
What should be sown beside all waters by employing oxen and donkeys? Clearly, His Gospel should be shared as often as possible with unsaved people. I also believe that tutoring His followers to make more fruitful breakthroughs sows for Him. In the latter context, oxen and donkeys can be seen as effectiveness-enhancing metaphors for breakthrough-improvement methods.
Let me dig deeper into Isaiah 32:13-20 to sketch some brief lessons that I pray you will keep in mind as you consider becoming one of the million tutors God wants to begin serving Him:
• Fruitful breakthroughs should increase peace.
• Breakthrough tutoring should lead to more righteousness.
• Opportunities to tutor about breakthroughs should be sought first among people with little access to advanced methods.
• Breakthrough tutors should sow a desire among learners to themselves tutor others.
Let’s consider each of the four lessons separately, beginning with how breakthroughs can create peace.
Fruitful Breakthroughs Should Create Peace
Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts,
do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
by those who make peace.
— James 3:13-18 (NKJV)
Like most tools, methods for creating breakthroughs can become a source of harm rather than a blessing from God. For instance, some people are so eager to impose their personal views on others that they only want to use the 2,000 percent solution process to “win” old arguments. Their purposes often seem to be based solely on desires to exert power over others so they can exalt themselves. Such a purpose couldn’t be further from being fruitful for God.
When your learners are considering the possibility of making a breakthrough, rather than stirring up strife I pray that you will encourage learners to join with whom they disagree to create mutually desirable breakthroughs. In that way, you will encourage the development of a lasting peace, you will help learners to develop more fruitful solutions, and you will make it more likely the learners can put the solutions into implementation faster and more effectively.
Here’s another potential problem to avoid: Someone may propose a breakthrough objective that will cause some people to gain while others will be harmed. I always point out in such cases that breakthroughs should at least seek to leave no one worse off and that breakthroughs should ideally provide spiritual and physical benefits to all who are affected.
When your learners are considering possible breakthrough objectives, urge them to search out any potential harm that might occur. Also encourage learners to think through how a different or improved breakthrough purpose could accomplish a lot more desirable results while generating more peace.
Before starting to tutor learners, agree that you will treat one another with consideration, respect, and kindness. Such tutoring relationships should involve openly sharing your feelings with each other. Otherwise, tempers can flare after learners or tutors feel slighted in ways that may be totally invisible to those whose actions or words caused the unhappiness. Such problems are especially likely to occur when people are discouraged by the rate of progress they are making compared to their expectations.
Tutors, compliment learners often and generously for engaging in any self-directed basics that can help lead to success such as selecting worthy purposes, effort, perseverance, and patience. I still vividly remember the times when Peter Drucker spelled out his positive views of the potential value of my work for helping others accomplish much more. I was so filled with enthusiasm by these validations of my approach that my feet felt as if they didn’t hit the ground for years afterwards! Filled with so much energy, I was able to devote much more focused attention to bringing Peter’s vision to life. Such encouragement helps learners to continue optimistically through the inevitable, but temporary, setbacks, delays, difficulties, and blind alleys that occur while working on breakthroughs.
Despite the high value of encouragement for creating more fruitfulness, many people report never receiving any positive comments about their purposes and efforts at work or at home. Such a lack of compliments for making and acting on useful commitments is hardly conducive to living peacefully with others.
When you tutor, make it easier for learners to understand and to be supportive of suggestions for improvement. As an example, I avoid labeling anything involved with developing or implementing a breakthrough as a “mistake” because of the potential for discouraging someone and triggering hostile reactions.
However, I find that almost every learner is interested in reviewing a list of “possible improvements” after I describe what I like best in the work done to date. Such a reference allows learners to determine if there could be an improvement worth making and leaves them feeling that they are building on a sound foundation of accomplishment. As a result, learners gain a so-called second wind that gives them the enthusiasm to speed forward to make more fruitful progress.
If you find any better terminologies for providing constructive suggestions, please share them with me. I’ll be glad to use the improved terms, as well.
When I work on a breakthrough or tutor a learner about making breakthroughs, I find it particularly helpful to become emotionally disconnected from any expectations about what the outcome will be or when it will occur. I do this because my expectations can only become a source of dissatisfaction to me and to the people I am trying to help. Instead, I seek to simply enjoy the breakthrough-creating process as a grand adventure that God has laid out for me. I attempt to sit back relaxed and to be prepared to marvel at all that He brings to the process that exceeds the expectations I might have imagined. I pray that you will do the same. Let God be in charge of creating breakthroughs through His Holy Spirit, in His timing, and in His ways, and you’ll enjoy gaining more fruitful and more peaceful results.
Let’s now consider how tutoring can lead to more righteousness, by being in the right relationship with God through the grace we receive from repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Breakthrough Tutoring Should Lead to More Righteousness
“Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the LORD,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
You have plowed wickedness;
You have reaped iniquity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies,
Because you trusted in your own way,
In the multitude of your mighty men.”
— Hosea 10:12-13 (NKJV)
Learners will carefully attempt to model themselves on whatever their tutors do, much as born-again Christians seek to model their behavior on what Jesus did before His ascension. Tutors should expect that, as their lives are sanctified to become more like His, these changes will attract notice and emulation by their learners. Such mirroring of righteousness is all to the good.
As God’s warning in Hosea 10:12-13 tells us, tutors must continually choose between following His ways and their own ways. In choosing His ways, it’s even more blessed for tutors to point out to learners when Godly choices are made. For instance, rather than simply telling a learner that you want to think something over, why not mention instead that you want to pray so that you will receive guidance from the Holy Spirit?
It’s also good to let learners know that you are seeking to draw closer to Jesus by being a breakthrough tutor. Ask learners to alert you to any ways that you act that are not in keeping with Jesus’ example. As a result, you’ll watch your own behavior more closely, and the learners will help you to notice what you are unaware and less aware of.
Be sure that God receives all glory for whatever good things are accomplished while you tutor. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of thinking and communicating that the results come from you, rather than from God by inviting, preparing, directing, and assisting you to be His physical arms, legs, hands, feet, mouth, and tongue on Earth. Likewise, learners can potentially develop harmful pride that they are the sole authors of the breakthroughs they work on rather than merely serving as His agents. Be sure to add a healthy dose of praise for God whenever you encourage your learners about some faithfulness or accomplishment.
Pray with and for your learners. By combining your Godly desire to serve Him with theirs, the breakthrough activity will receive greater support from His Holy Spirit. I often find that such prayers will reveal areas where a learner can draw closer to Christ Jesus or to the Holy Spirit. When I notice such opportunities, I mention what I have observed and present ways that learners can improve their relationships with God. Many learners respond by reporting how their hearts have been affected, and I use such opportunities to give God the glory and to praise learners for having hearts that yearn for Him and serving His will.
Such spiritual discussions are good for me, too. I often need to study the Bible to locate the right verses to share and to read commentaries that help me find better ways to explain aspects of verses that might not be obvious from examining them in isolation from other parts of the Bible.
As a result of such spiritual discussions, learners will engage in more Godly activities, independent of developing and implementing fruitful breakthroughs. When God’s love is shared in such ways by the learners, His righteousness has a chance to grow and illuminate more of the darkened world among those who have little or no faith. What a blessing when such increased visibility of His presence occurs!
When you find that your tutoring helps lead to more righteousness in ways that I haven’t mentioned, I pray that you will share your experiences with me so that I can learn from what occurred and improve what I do.
Let’s now shift our attention to the value of seeking first to tutor those who have limited access to advanced methods.
Opportunities to Tutor about Breakthroughs
Should Be Sought First among People
with Little Access to Advanced Methods
But as for me, I would seek God,
And to God I would commit my cause —
Who does great things, and unsearchable,
Marvelous things without number.
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields.
He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans.
He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
And grope at noontime as in the night.
But He saves the needy from the sword,
From the mouth of the mighty,
And from their hand.
So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.
— Job 5:8-16 (NKJV)
Space does not permit discussing all of the advantages of first tutoring learners who lack knowledge of and information about most advanced methods for making breakthroughs. Let me focus on just a few of the potential blessings, which are listed here:
• More openness to skipping less effective, intermediate solutions
• Increased likelihood that others will emulate the solutions
• Greater benefit increases
• Fewer, easier tutoring challenges
• Higher potential to inspire a learner to become a tutor
• More opportunities for humble service
Let’s look first at why such learners will be more open to skipping less effective, intermediate solutions. Traditionally, performance advances through people gradually making many small improvements. As an example, consider the many steps involved between Alexander Graham Bell’s first commercial telephone and today’s mobile communications devices. Those who experience or observe the most advanced mobile service on the best devices want such benefits for themselves. As a result, learners focused on communications improvements will comfortably ignore the many small enhancement steps in landline telecommunications that preceded the current mobile technologies. Simply through careful research into the current best practices, breakthrough learners with limited knowledge about advanced methods may be able to increase their performance by much more than twenty times. By further noticing what they cannot yet do with the existing best practices that would be highly valuable, learners’ attention will also be more reliably focused on where improvement potential lies untapped in reaching toward implementing the ideal practice.
Because many people in lesser developed economies are reluctant to seek opportunities that exist only in the most developed economies, any breakthroughs in less-developed countries are more likely to be emulated by those in similar circumstances. Mobile telecommunications are such an example of rapid emulation among poorer countries. In many nations where landline telephones have always been scarce and expensive (such as Bangladesh), the appeal of the latest low-cost mobile technologies being employed in other lesser-developed countries encouraged widespread development of the newest mobile devices and services rather than the older, less effective landline approaches. Mobile telecommunications have also been easier to expand in such nations than in more advanced ones because there are usually fewer governmental restrictions on erecting towers and antennas.
In many cases, the economics of the best solutions are further helped when more people use the solutions. For instance, when more cellular telephones are served in a geographic area, the cost per subscriber is lower for installing and operating the towers and antennas to serve them. If more people purchase such telephones, the cost of manufacturing them becomes smaller so that cellular telephone prices can be lowered. If the telephones and the services cost less, more people can afford to use their cellular telephones for more purposes. When that happens, more cellular-telephone-based businesses arise. Such businesses, in turn, create more employment so that more people can afford the devices and the services.
At some point in this cycle of beneficial changes, new ways are sure to be found to share Gospel- and Bible-based messages on the devices, and increased fruitfulness for the Lord flows exponentially from all of the other gains. Each fruitful example subsequently encourages other believers to make more advanced experiments, and some of these new activities are blessed by the Lord to accomplish still more.
If a tutor wants to work with learners who intend to make fruitful breakthroughs through ministries based on using cell phones, such an environment will be richer for observing what others do, for testing various possible solutions, and for attracting resources that enable new kinds of breakthroughs.
Notice that throughout this evolving process of constructive change, the tutor will have little trouble demonstrating to learners that breakthroughs are possible by just considering what already exists through using an Internet search engine. Unless the learner has no Internet access, there will be no long learning delays while waiting for books and articles to be shipped long distances at great expense.
If tutors have many learners who lack Internet access, tutors can suggest that learners pool their resources so that they don’t have to duplicate one another’s research efforts for locating future and ideal practices. Connecting with one another, a group of learners who are trying to accomplish similar or identical breakthroughs can simplify their learning as well as the tutoring tasks.
As a learner goes through such a simple process for making a breakthrough, it’s easier for the learner to imagine performing the same tutoring role for another learner who might live nearby or be located in the next village or neighborhood. Inquisitive learners are also likely to appreciate the advantages they will additionally gain from being a tutor who sees what breakthroughs a lot of other learners make in activities that interest the potential tutor.
While many teachers puff themselves up as “authorities” who seek to awe their students simply due to differences in age, knowledge, education, experience, and awareness of hidden practices, breakthrough tutors who work with those who have limited access to advanced practices are less likely to fall into such prideful habits. Why? Their students can more clearly see where all of the information has come from and can easily imagine how to duplicate what has been done to tutor them.
In considering this transparency, I was reminded of Dorothy and the wizard in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, based on the fantasy novel by L. Frank Baum. If you don’t know the story, a tornado in Kansas lifted up Dorothy’s house and deposited it in the magical land of Oz. Once there, she began to meet witches, one of whom encouraged her to visit the wizard of Oz to find a way back to Kansas. After many difficulties, Dorothy and some new friends made it to the Emerald City where the wizard lived.
When Dorothy first met the wizard, she was impressed by magic tricks into thinking that he had supernatural powers (although he was just an ordinary man). She fearfully obeyed the wizard’s commands in hope of finding a way back to Kansas. After defeating the wicked witch as the wizard required, Dorothy came back to the Emerald City to discover that the wizard was just pulling levers to frighten her. Her fears dispelled, she concentrated on encouraging the “wizard” to develop a practical plan for returning to Kansas. The “wizard” immediately began acting humbly rather than like a humbug.
Let’s now turn to the last lesson in this Epilogue that breakthrough tutors should keep in mind, sowing a desire among learners to become tutors themselves.
Breakthrough Tutors Should Sow
a Desire among Learners to Themselves Tutor Others
Then Isaac sowed in that land,
and reaped in the same year a hundredfold;
and the LORD blessed him.
The man began to prosper,
and continued prospering until he became very prosperous;
for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds
and a great number of servants.
— Genesis 26:12-14 (NKJV)
Even with a million breakthrough tutors actively helping as many learners as possible, many learners won’t be able to find a tutor because there will still be over 4,000 adults for each tutor. If each tutor faithfully serves God and is filled with the Holy Spirit, many learners may feel called to become tutors. If the initial million tutors inspire an average of a hundred learners to become tutors, there will ultimately be a breakthrough tutor for each 40 adults. If some learners who are inspired to become tutors in turn inspire others, the day will soon arrive when there will be wide choices of available breakthrough tutors in almost every specialty. What a blessing that will be!
Such a happy result won’t occur unless today’s tutors encourage their learners to become tutors. I expect that a variety of motives will be important based on the experiences I have had with learners becoming tutors. Here are some potentially attractive reasons to become a tutor:
• Desire to serve God by helping more of His people to become more fruitful
• Strong sympathy for those who are experiencing deprivations that can easily be eliminated
• Patriotic commitment to strengthening the tutor’s nation
• Inherent interest in teaching a new subject
• Fascination with the process of creating breakthroughs
• Thirst for more knowledge about making breakthroughs in an area of interest
• Sense of obligation to repay the favor of having been tutored by helping others
I’m sure that other motivations will also turn out to be important. If you frequently hear of reasons that draw learners into tutoring that I haven’t mentioned, please share with me your observations so that I can also apply what you have learned.
While working with breakthrough tutors, I have observed a general pattern that may be helpful to tutors who are seeking to encourage learners to become tutors. Let me share what I have learned without repeating the important information that I have shared elsewhere in Help Wanted.
First, the tutoring process must be conducted in an optimistic way so that the learner always feels the tutor’s confidence that the learner will succeed in making some marvelous breakthrough. The more confident learners are, the easier it is to believe that others can make breakthroughs, as well, and to feel confident about tutoring.
I start building learners’ confidence by sharing my experiences with them, which have been very positive. Learners who continue working on solutions have always succeeded. The amount of time most learners spend on creating a solution isn’t terribly great, seldom over 120 hours, even for very difficult breakthroughs. If a learner picks out something extremely difficult to do, I point out if a simpler breakthrough would deliver similar results with less strain, time, and effort. I then leave it to the learner to determine which breakthrough to work on. Invariably, learners pick the easier route.
I ask learners to share with me the results of each little step. In this way, they are less likely to go off on a tangent. I praise as much as I can about their work. With such regular encouragement, they are eager to go to perform the next little step. Frequent reviews also make the process seem pretty painless.
If learners get off on the wrong foot, I apologize for misleading them and provide much simpler, easier-to-follow directions for redoing what’s just been produced. I may even ask for more frequent reviews so that the likelihood of getting anything else wrong is further reduced.
I express joy when progress is reestablished and describe how excited I am about the prospects for a wonderful breakthrough ahead. In response, I’ve sometimes observed learners increasing their breakthrough goals in line with their increased confidence.
When the final breakthrough has been described and plans for its implementation are complete, I describe the potential influence of the breakthrough in the broadest credible terms I can. Doing so may mean pointing out that a hundred million other people could use the same breakthrough. I will then pose the question of how such an expansion might occur. Inevitably, breakthrough learners will then define a major role for their own efforts. Such roles may include tutoring.
Second, if tutoring doesn’t arise naturally through my question about expanding the breakthrough’s use, I bring up the subject directly by asking the learner if she or he would like to learn how to be a tutor. I have found that this question, rather than asking if someone wants to become an ongoing tutor, is the right place to start. Most learners are at least somewhat interested in understanding what the tutoring process feels like from the tutor’s perspective.
Most people will feel unqualified to tutor someone else after having made a single breakthrough. When that view is expressed, I point out that I will be more than happy to give them guidance while they provide the assistance. My offer usually increases the learner’s interest. A fair number of people will choose to make another breakthrough or two before starting to learn how to tutor. I patiently accept whatever decision the learner makes and offer my support in any case.
I know that it’s a very good sign if someone wants to work on making another breakthrough: The learner has become seriously interested in the subject and just lacks certainty about his or her ability to teach someone else. At the end of any subsequent breakthrough tutoring relationships, I again ask the learner if she or he would like to learn how to tutor.
If someone agrees to learn to be a tutor, I provide all of my templates that can be useful for either the tutor’s learner or for the tutor. I suggest to the learning tutor that he or she send me copies of any communications that are planned to be sent to a learner or that are received from a learner so that I can comment on them. As the learning tutor gains experience, I encourage her or him to provide me with planned responses before I comment on what the learner sent to the learning tutor.
Once again, I praise the learning tutor for whatever useful efforts are made and gently suggest alternatives for intended actions or actions taken that have created or might create problems. After the learning tutor seems to be doing well with making adjustments, I encourage him or her to take more initiative in proposing adjustments. If the suggestions are likely to be effective, I endorse them even if I can think of one that I like better. My purpose is to help the learning tutor become self-sufficient, not to turn the person into a clone of my thinking.
I also ask the learning tutor to ask the learner to write me an e-mail at the end of the tutoring experience about how the experience has felt from the learner’s perspective. I then use what the letter says to help the learning tutor evaluate the feedback and to make any desirable adjustments. I also use receiving this information as another opportunity to praise the learning tutor for the commitment, the effort, and the effective things that were done. I also ask the learning tutor to inquire about the learner’s interest in becoming a tutor. I offer to assist the learning tutor in teaching the learner how to be a tutor. And on the cycle goes of nurturing interest in and knowledge of breakthrough tutoring.
In describing these steps for sowing a desire to tutor about making breakthroughs, I don’t mean to suggest that they are the only way to go. Only God knows what the alternatives are and which ones will be best for a given individual. In all cases, tutors should be continually in prayer to find out what He wants us to do.
Let me conclude by thanking you for your investment in Help Wanted and your investigation and consideration of its contents. Whether or not you decide to become a breakthrough tutor, you now have valuable knowledge for anyone who has that interest or intention. I pray that you will be generous in sharing what you have learned with others who may benefit from your understanding of the potential that will be created by the activities of the first million breakthrough tutors. I look forward to celebrating with you on that happy day when the one millionth breakthrough tutor begins her or his tutoring activities. What wonderful surprises God has in store for us!
Copyright © 2011 by Donald W. Mitchell. All rights reserved.