#1 Tent Stake Holders: These are the people God gives you in the beginning of your vision or enterprise. During this time, things are flexible and nothing is permanent. It’s exciting to have anybody help “pitch the tent” in the early days. For whatever reason, some good and some bad, God moves these people on. But they are always a gift in the start-up season. They contributed to the scaffolding for what you were building and not to the building itself.
#2 High Stakes Holders: These are the people God gives you as “lifers” in your ministry and vision. They are “all in.” When you bet the farm, they did too. You couldn’t have done it without them, and it’s hard to imagine the journey ahead if they’re not standing right next to you. They have the mentality of “owners.”
#3 Eat-the-Steak Holders: As you build your ministry, you will hire people to contribute. These people are the staff and employees of the cause. Of course, you want them fired up and living on mission. But at the end of the day, they experienced the benefit of the mission’s success prior to experiencing the sacrifice of the mission’s start. Their commitment is variable because it’s hard for them to separate what they give to the cause from what they get. Nevertheless, they are crucial carriers of the vision.
#4 Stake Beholders: These are not the people who got the vision and jumped on the board. These are the people for whom the vision existed. This is the single mom who met Jesus through your ministry and is loyal to your leadership. This is the successful businessman who is always attentive to your advice because his life was changed by God’s truth spoken through you. You may not feel like these people are your core stakeholders, but their combined presence gives a cumulative credibility and substance to your vision.
#5 SweepStake Holders: Every once in a while, God brings the right person at the right time to strategically advance the vision. This jackpot person may be a large gift donor or a trusted advisor or a silent prayer warrior. They may not be around the vision everyday, but they are willing investors at a distance. They move as God supernaturally directs or as they perceive need. They are your angels.
#6 Mis-take Holders: No matter how well you lead, there will be frustrated people in your ministry. Some well-meaning people will receive from the ministry for a season but were never called to contribute back. Others will be misplaced staff or volunteers who never really fit or never really caught the vision. Be the recipient of “blessed subtraction” and let these people find a place where they can be a better kind of stakeholder.