God is looking for F.A.S.T. men!
(Faithful –Available – Spiritual – Teachable)
It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguish
leaders from their followers.
Take a Test
1. How vital is growth to a man? To a leader? To me?
2. I would say that overall, I have grown (circle one)
very little – somewhat – more than usual – quite significantly in the past year.
3. In what ways have I grown in the following areas of my life in the past year?
a. Spiritual (relationship with God)
enjoyment of God
fellowship with God
b. Character (becoming more like Christ)
- Character of Christ-likeness (see 1 Timothy and Titus)
- Discipline and self-control
- Attitude and emotionally
- of God
- of God’s Word (study, knowledge, memorization)
- of myself
- of my area of labor or calling
- of general knowledge
- In life skills (wisdom)
- In my talents and spiritual giftedness
- In relationships
- In communication skills
- As a husband and/or father
- In my field of labor (professionally)
4. True or false: I currently have a written plan for personal growth.
A Critical Requirement of a Godly Man and Leader is Personal Growth!
A. Defining Growth
1. Growth is the development and progress toward maturity.
2. It is expansion, advancement, improvement; increase in capacity, extent or prevalence.
3. “The capacity of each person created in God’s image to reach far beyond perceived levels of achievement.” (William Vermeulen).
B. Growth is both necessary and required for a leader
1. According to the Bible growth is presumed because it is the nature of God’s creation.
a. What God creates grows. It is a characteristic of creation.
b. Growth is a characteristic of God’s people. Summarize what these verses have to say about the subject of growth:
Job. 8:7 – _____________________________________________
Psalm 1 – ____________________________________________
Psalm 92:12 – __________________________________________
2 Cor. 3:18 – ___________________________________________
This is revealed more clearly when we consider all the terms and activities that pertain to the Christian: discipleship, nurture, change, learning, etc.
What do the above verses say about you and your growth?
2. Death and decay, a result of sin, is abnormal. What is not growing is either dying or dead.
The intentional lack of growth or maturity is repulsive to and rebuked by God. See what God says:
Isa. 28:9 – _____________________________________________
1 Cor. 3:1-2 – ___________________________________________
1 Cor. 14:20 – ___________________________________________
Eph. 4:14 – ____________________________________________
Heb. 5:12 – ____________________________________________
Are you growing as a man or are you dying?
3. God is concerned with the growth of the whole man.
a. What does 2 Peter 1:3-11 reveal about your growth in Christ? What does this verse say to you?
b. God’s chosen servants grew physically, mentally and spiritually:
Ex. 2:10-11; Acts 7:20ff – __________________________________
1 Sam. 2:26 – ________________________________________
Luke 1:8 – ________________________________________
Luke 2:40 cp. 52 – ______________________________________
2 Cor. 3:18 – you are to grow from glory to glory
Are you growing in physical strength and health? Mentally? Spiritually?
c. God calls His people to mental, social, emotional and spiritual growth. In fact, He demands it!
(1) Spiritual growth will bear a tremendous influence and have a great impact upon you. For example:
Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Matt. 12:34ff – _______________________________________
Mark 7:21- __________________________________________
(2) God expects and requires you to grow in Christ. What do each of these verses say to you?
Eph. 3:16-19 – ____________________________________
Eph. 4:15 – _______________________________________
Col. 1:10 – ________________________________________
1 Tim. 4:15 – ______________________________________
1 Pet. 2:2 – _______________________________________
2 Pet. 3:18 – _______________________________________
The bottom line: at minimum, God’s people are to grow. How much greater the requirement for godly leaders! What’s more, one of the common and significant traits of all leaders is that they are always growing. To be a leader, it is necessary that you grow!
C. Growth is a choice
1. Healthy, godly men and leaders make a conscious choice to grow, to improve self.
2. Paul B. Thornton in Be the Leader-Make the Difference writes:
Leaders with a continuous improvement mind-set have
- A strong desire to improve
- A commitment to candid self-assessment
- A strong curiosity
- An ability to learn from both success and failure
- Non-defensive response to negative feedback
- A willingness to experiment and try new approaches.
Is your life in Christ, which encompasses everything about you, proactively seeking to grow and improve? Is your life intentional, purposeful, goal-oriented or is it just riding on the winds and waves that life presents you?
D. Growth is change
1. Self-development, not self-fulfillment is the focus of growing and godly man.
2. See Leadership Class: Disciplines of a Godly Man-The methods of discipline to becoming a godly man by this author.
3. Be aware of the danger stagnation.
Three very important things in which a godly man and leader grows:
As a leader, you need at least three things (see Rom. 15:14): character(to be), comprehension (to know),and competency (to do).
1. Character (to be)
A person of “engraved distinctive quality” who remains steadfast in moral excellence. Lives a praiseworthy life. A person of special quality in whom others willingly place their trust. A person with a controlled mind, will, emotions, attitudes, etc.
Who you are is who you attract; and who you attract will be determined by your character.
2. Comprehension (to know)
What God wants you to know. Seizing or grasping mentally, and perceiving morally. This requires disciplines study for the gaining of truth and knowledge, and the understanding of the nature, significance and meaning of things; understanding cause and effect, etc.
3. Competence (to do)
This is what God wants you to do. To have the requisite ability to respond to and meet the challenge. To be qualified and faithful. Effective in relationships, communication, performance and delegation. To be able to lead and able to get others to follow.
“Choose instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold” (Prov. 8:10) The principle here: “Learn instead of earn” should be one of my life’s priorities!
Arenas or Spheres of the Godly Man and Leader’s Life That Must Grow:
1. Your Spiritual Life (relationship with God)
- enjoyment and fellowship with God
2. Your Character – becoming more like Christ at least in these areas:
a. Character of Christ-likeness (see 1 Timothy and Titus)
b. Discipline and self-control
(1) Courage as opposed to fear
(2) Passion as opposed to apathy
(3) Hope as opposed to negativity
(4) Confidence as opposed to doubt
(5) Humility as opposed to pride
a. of God
b. of God’s Word (study, knowledge, memorization)
c. of myself
d. of my area of labor or calling
e. of general knowledge
Be a continual learner!
Philip B. Crosby says
There is a theory of human behavior that says people subconsciously retard their own intellectual growth. They come to rely on cliches and habits. Once they reach the age of their own personal comfort with the world, they stop learning and their mind runs on idle for the rest of their days. They may progress organizationally, they may be ambitious and eager, and they may even work night and day. But they learn no more.
a. In life skills (wisdom)
Prov. 4:7-8 “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honor you.”
Prov. 19:18 “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.”
Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, in their book Leaders wrote, “It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from their followers.”
b. In my talents and spiritual giftedness
c. In relationships
d. In communication skills
e. As a husband and/or father
f. In my field of labor (professionally)
5. A Plan for Personal growth
a. Make a commitment to personal growth.
b. Develop a specific and written plan for growth. Then prioritize.
(For example, see John C. Maxwell’s Your Road Map for Success)
Note: it will be easier and more successful if you focus and build primarily upon your positive strengths. Then address areas in which you are deficient and in need of change and growth. Choose one significant item in each area with which to begin. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
(1) Make a written plan for:
My spiritual life
My character development
c. Establish habits of successful growth.
Nobody will ever master every area of his life. However, by God, who works in you both to will and to do of His good plan, you can see significant and on-going growth in each area. The mastery will be in the skill and process, not so much in the perfect completion.
d. Find and use resources to help you change and grow in the designated areas.
(1) Resources, such as appropriate people, books, tapes, magazines, etc.
For example, one man always has five books by his bed or favorite chair, one on each subject in which he is growing. He rarely drives anywhere without listening to a CD on the subject, and always takes advantage of every “free time” (such as waiting at the doctor’s office, or in the airport) to read, study, or review.
(2) Put yourself in a “training” mindset
(3) Make the time for personal growth, or life will take your time from you.
e. Create a climate for growth: plan to do each of the following at least once a day for the next month
(1) Affirm someone else for doing something new that displays a desire for growth.
(2) Try something you’ve never done so that you’re taken out of your comfort zone.
(3) Think about a benefit that your current growth plan may give you in the future.
(4) Find ways to reward and encourage yourself in the areas you are growing
f. Develop relationships with growing people. True success always includes others. Build relationships for growth in the following ways:
(1) Find a mentor. Name the person you know who is growing and who has the most expertise in the area where you’d most like to grow. Your goal is to develop a win-win relationship with that person.
(2) Spend time with growing people.
(3) Pick someone else to mentor. Select a person to help grow…
Note: a great habit to develop is whenever you meet with someone with whom you have a mentoring relationship, always brings something of value to give: a book, tape, article, something you’ve learned, or anything encouraging or instructive.
Putting this into practice:
1. Would I consider myself a faithful, available, spiritual and teachable man? Why or why not?
2. I would say that I am growing in the following areas of my life:
_____ Physical health
_____ Social relationships
_____ Life skills
_____ In my area of work or expertise
3. I know that I am growing in this or these areas because:
4. True or false: I would say that my life is characterized by intentional growth in most or all areas of my life.
5. If I am not intentionally growing, then I am dying on the proverbial vine. What is keeping me from growing? What is hindering me?
6. What does 2 Peter 1:3-11 say about where I am in life right now?
7. Which, if any, of the characteristics Paul B. Thornton in Be the Leader-Make the Difference writes about do I have?
_____ Strong desire to improve
_____ A commitment to candid self-assessment
_____ A strong curiosity
_____ An ability to learn from both success and failure
_____ Non-defensive response to negative feedback
_____ A willingness to experiment and try new approaches or new things
8. True or false: I am proactive about growing in
_____ Character of Christ-likeness
_____ Discipline and self-control
_____ Attitudes :
_____ Becoming more courageous as opposed to more fearful
_____ Passion as opposed to apathy
_____ Hope as opposed to negativity
_____ Confidence as opposed to doubt
_____ Humility as opposed to pride
9. True or false: I am proactive in learning more and more about many and important things in life.
10. True or false: I am becoming more and more competent in the various areas of my life. Write down what area(s) and how:
11. I am growing in my spiritual life (write down the following ways):
Enjoying God __________________________________________
Fellowship with God _____________________________________
12. I am growing in knowledge in the following areas:
_____ God’s Word (study, understanding, memorization)
_____ Of myself (who I am)
_____ Of my calling or area of labor
_____ As a husband
_____ As a father
13. I am becoming more and more competent
_____ In life skills (wisdom)
_____ In my talents and spiritual gifts
_____ In communication skills
_____ In my field of labor (professionally)
_____ As a husband
_____ As a father
_____ As a disciple of Jesus
_____ As a loving servant of others in my church
_____ As a loving servant to others outside of church relationships
14. My written plan to grow is:
(c) D. Thomas Owsley – All Rights Reserved – from Band of Brothers: Dynamic training for intentional living as a man in Christ.