Better or worse, never the same
My coach once told our team before practice,
“Only two things happen every time you step on this court. Either you get better or you get worse. No one ever stays the same.”
Though this reality was described in an athletic context, it’s consistent within many areas of our life, especially growing as a leader.
No matter how long you have been in campus ministry, no matter what degree you have (or don’t have) on your wall, or the conferences you have attended or books you have read, our continued growth in leading ourselves and others spiritually must remain a priority. Why? Because we never stay the same.
Throughout the Scriptures we see characters that experienced monumental encounters with God in the past yet fail to sustain the level of faith produced by them in the present.
For example, the writer of Hebrews in chapter 6 makes reference to believers that have, “…been enlightened, tasted heavenly gifts, shared in the Holy Spirit, seen the goodness of God, yet have fallen away…”
We are no different today.
Continued growth is as much a part of Christianity as grace and there is an expectation for both to be a reality in our journey with Christ.
Early in chapter 5 the author is wanting to reveal deeper truths about the mysteries of Christ to the Hebrews, but in his frustration with their complacency of faith states, “About these things we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11).
This theme is continued in chapter 6 verse 1 as they are spurred on to “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and grow towards maturity…”
With any living being there are certain elements that must be present to facilitate health and growth.
For plant life these are soil, sun, and water. For a ministry leader I believe they are desire, need, and a plan.
Desire and need may sound synonymous in this context, but they are quite different. Let me explain.
The definition of desire is to have a strong feeling of wanting to have something. In our case, that “something” is a deeper love of God.
Much of our love is dependent upon knowledge. Not merely factual knowledge but relational knowledge. The more we get to know about someone the more we can love them.
When the pursuit of that relational knowledge stops, love grows cold.
This makes a desire to love God so important because it drives us to pursue God through prayer, the Word, and worship, even when we are not required to fulfill a ministry responsibility. This produces the best type of growth.
The definition of need is to require something because it is essential or very important.
In our case, as those who have enlisted to carry out the Great Commission, that “something” is a need to mature.
Our work as ministry leaders is noble, urgent, and eternal. To approach it casually is to treat the work of Christ and people’s lives casually.
We have a desperate need to mature, as the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 5 verse 14, “to be trained by constant practice,” that we might possess the ability to discern the times in which we live and carry out the work Jesus has entrusted us to do.
Finally, the last element needed to facilitate growth as a ministry leader is a plan.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have time to read that article, study that topic, or listen to that teaching. Where do I start?”
But let us consider the words of Winston Churchill when he said,
“Let our advanced worrying become advanced thinking and planning.”
A starting point that we at CMT think is helpful is using this Leadership Training Objective tool.
This tool will help you identify areas that we should have a desire and need to grow in.
In this pursuit, our goal should not be to try to earn more from God or impress people with how much we know.
May we use these elements to flourish in our relationships, maturity, and multiplication.