Last night I ended a very enjoyable meeting with the brethren in Anderson, Indiana. They are served by three good men who Shepherd the flock, including Carl (Mac) McMurray who also ministers in the Word.
The attendance was good. The singing was inspiring. The fellowship was warm and friendly. And the brethren were very receptive to the Word. It was the kind of meeting that every preacher enjoys. I’m sure I received as much, if not more, encouragement than I gave.
Our series, “Spiritual Leadership: Every Believer’s Commitment to Growth” spoke to the importance of each Christian’s personal responsibility to God and the Church Family. We emphasized the need for a positive influence and the necessity of commitment. But the underlying theme was on spiritual growth.
Our daily posts on ThePreachersWord are really about our growth and maturity as Believers.
God desires that we grow. In fact, commands that we grow just like a baby grows. He wants us to grow mentally. Emotionally. Relationally. Spiritually. (1 Pet. 2:2). Just like Jesus grew “in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men” (LK. 2:52).
Dan Miller once wrote, “When you get to heaven God is not going to ask you why you weren’t more like Mother Teresa. He’s likely to ask you why you weren’t more like you. Your responsibility and source of real freedom and success is to discover who you are. Lead with your own unique talents and personality. Be authentically you and let God use you.”
Here are seven principles to challenge and help you chart a course for growth.
#1 Cultivate a Growth Mentality.
How do you feel about personal growth? Do you feel any need for improvement? Do you feel moved to make any changes? In your personal life? Family life? Your career? You spiritual relationship with God?
Attitude is the key ingredient to success. If you believe you can grow, improve and do more, then you open the door of opportunity.
#2 Determinate Growth Priorities.
You can’t do everything at once. Determine what is needed most. Decide where to start. Which area of your life needs the greatest improvement?
#3 Envision Future Growth.
Learn to see your life as God sees it. Look into the mirror of His Word. Examine yourself. What do you be to be? What do you be doing in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? 30 years?
#4 Develop a Plan for Growth.
What is your plan of action? What direction will your life take? What is your first step? It’s a personal decision. You must decide. An old Chinese proverb says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So does personal growth.
#5 Be Resourceful in Meeting Challenges.
Jesus’ Parable of the Unjust Steward is a great example of creative thinking. If you are not familiar with it, read it. (Lk 16:1-12). Essentially, the steward was being fired! Too proud to beg and unwilling to engage in manual labor, he made friends with his Master’s debtors, hoping they would hire him, by cancelling part of their debt! When the Master saw what he did, he commended him for being “shrewd.”
Now Jesus was not endorsing questionable business practices, but teaching a lesson on resourcefulness. Responding to a difficult challenge with a unique idea. Of being shrewd. In life not everything will go exactly as we plan, then what? How do we respond to challenges?
#6 Accept Personal Responsibility.
God wants you to be the best you can be. Don’t excuse yourself because others do more. And don’t be content because you are doing more.
Remember God will judge each of us according to our own works. (2 Cor.5:10)
#7 Stay Committed to Continual Growth.
There is no point where you can say I have done enough. Given enough. Or served enough. The Bible says “Be not weary in doing good” (Gal. 6:9). We are on a journey, not a destination.
Finally, remember the old Irish proverb as applied to your spiritual growth: “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman