You can lead a horse to water. But you can’t make him drink. If you try, you’ll regret it. Horses don’t respond too well when they have their faces shoved into the water.
A disciple is simply a follower. It includes everyone in the following-Jesus line. The same is true when it comes to leading God’s people. We can salt the oats and lead them to the water, but at the end of the day, we can’t make them drink. That’s their choice, and their responsibility.
I wish I’d known that God judges my ministry by how faithfully I led the flock to the water and not by how much water they drank. It would have saved me a lot of grief. It would have kept me from taking too much credit when people grew by leaps and bounds, and it would have kept me from taking too much blame when their hearts were hard.