Tag Archives: growth

Superpreacher – We want you!

Dear Superpreacher,

Superpreacher, You're my hero!

I am writing to you to ask you to consider becoming our pastor. We are a small church in a small city that was established over forty years ago. I am one of several who either started this church or grew up in this church.

We’ve always been small; but I know that if you came here we would grow into a great and large church.

We’ve had plenty of others preachers over the years. I think ten? But none of them was really any good at preaching.

The longest we’ve ever had a pastor was six years, even though we encouraged him to find another church after he had been with us for two years.

Our current pastor came a few years ago.  He’s okay, but nothing like you.  He’s a likeable man, but he’s not what we want.  Yes, he studies hard, visits people when they are sick, oversees the worship, teaches Bible study, prays for members in the church, meets with our men, visits our visitors, counsels, witnesses, is training new deacons, is constantly having lunch or supper with people and other things like that.  It’s all well and good, but he’s not bringing new people in or making our church grow. We want more than 120!

We need someone like you.  If our pastor had a voice like you do, and could dress as cool as you, or preach on the stage the way you do, then things might not be so bad.  He’s also older than 40, which turns off young people.  He needs charisma and energy. That’s what you have. He also needs to wow the audience and say things that will get people’s attention, and tell lots of great stories like you.  We want someone exhilarating and well-known.

It would be so exciting to have you be our preacher.  We would still let you do conferences and write books.  By the way, when I can find the time I plan on reading one of your books!  You can get rid of the pulpit, but we would like it if you did not change too much else around.  Contemporary songs are fine once in a while too. I’m sure those things don’t really matter much to you because all you really need to do is what you do best:  preach the socks off people.

Even though we are a small church, we have people who have investments and good resources, which they could put toward paying your large salary for a few years.  Our core group has been waiting for just the right person to come along to make wise use of this money; and we know you would be that right man!

Please let me know if you will accept this offer.  We are already talking about ways to help this pastor move on.  It should not be a problem since we’ve helped previous preachers find other calls.

In the name of Jesus;

Chris N. Dom

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Filed under Church Growth, Church Leadership, Megachurch, Preaching and the Church, The Church

Church Life According to Acts 2-5

(This is from William Vermeulen’s Church Planting seminar materials, 1997)

 

As I read Acts 2 to 5, I find the following things emphasized:

1. Truth – God’s Word and my “truth”

2. Fellowship – Opening our lives to one another, caring for one another, owning nothing, sharing deeply.

3. Breaking bread – Sitting together at tables, sharing, singing, and praying together moves us more toward intimacy.

4. Prayer – The place where our hearts are better knit together and where greater brokenness before the throne takes place.

5. Witness – Individual and group witness is a powerful means of grace for our growth in Christ as well as a primary way to reach others with the Gospel.

6. Awe – The five things above lead to a healthier fear of God and an intensified worship and prayer life.

7. Unity – Which comes through celebrating our diversity and differences, and we best grow in this important area of the Christian life in the small group context.

8. Worship – The intimate worship of the small group adds tremendous vitality to the formal corporate worship of God’s people, and it can do a great deal to change attitudes to “what can I give to” rather than “what can I get out of” the services.

9. Favor with people – It came out of authentic biblical community: their love and care for one another and their excitement of being in these households of faith spilled over on others.

10. The Lord added daily – Something a large number of churches need desperately need, and/or want to see happen. God encourages us with the repeated emphasis in Acts on the growth of his church.

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A Self-Check for Personal Growth

 

Here is a check-list to see how you are doing when it comes to personal growth:

 

1. Would I consider myself  faithful, available, spiritual and teachable? Why or why not?

2.  I would say that I am growing in the following areas of my life:

_____      Spiritual

_____      Physical health

_____      Mental

_____      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 in Paul B. Thornton in Be the Leader-Make the Difference 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 (see 1 Timothy and Titus; and take the Godly Man’s self-exam)

_____       Discipline and self-control

_____       Emotionally

_____       Love

_____      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 how in the following ways):

Prayer

Worship

Enjoying God

Fellowship with God

 

12. I am growing in knowledge in the following areas:

_____     God

_____     God’s Word (study, understanding, memorization)

_____     Of myself (who I am)

_____     Of my calling or area of labor

_____     As a husband/wife

_____     As a father/mother

_____     Other

 

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/wife

_____    As a father/wife

_____    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:

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Filed under Change, Character

A Suggested Plan for Personal Growth

You might have a desire to grow personally, but you may not get very far if you do not put together a plan for growth.  Here’s a suggested plan, which might encourage you to develop one of your own:

 

1. Make a commitment to personal growth.

2. Develop a specific and written plan for growth. Then prioritize.

a.  John C. Maxwell’s Your Road Map for Success is one helpful tool.

b. Growth will come easier and more successfully if you focus and build primarily upon your positive strengths first.  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.

c.  Make a written plan for your:

Spiritual life

Character development

Comprehension

Competency

d.  Prioritize

e.  Find and use resources that will help

(1)  A mentor or fellow believer(s) – true success always includes others, and with growth it includes spending time with other growing people and investing your life in others to help them grow.

(2) Books, CDs, DVDs, etc.

(3)   Magazines, e-zines, journals

3. Establish habits of successful growth.

Nobody will ever master every area of his or her life. However, with God, who works in you both to will and to do of His good plan, you can see significant and ongoing growth in each area. The mastery will be in the skill and process, not so much in the perfect completion.

4. Make the time for personal growth, or life will take your time from you.

5. Create a climate for growth: plan to do each of the following at least once a day for the next month

(See John C. Maxwell; Your Road Map for Success; p. 114).

a. Affirm someone else for doing something new that displayed a desire for growth.

b. Try something you’ve never done so that you’re taken out of your comfort zone.

c.  Think about a benefit that your current growth plan may give you in the future.

d.  Find ways to reward and encourage yourself in the areas you are growing.

6. Develop relationships with growing people. True success always includes others. Build relationships for growth in the following ways:

a.     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.

b.     Spend time with growing people.

c.     Pick someone else to mentor. Select a person to help you 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.

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How To Grow a Minister

…or more aptly, How a Minister Can Change through Growth.

When I was a young soldier stationed in Okinawa, one of the missionaries at the Overseas Christian Servicemen’s Center was a short, middle-aged, energetic, robust and very disciplined man. He was a good mentor with respect to pushing us young military types to be deliberate about our lives. There was no need for him to be concerned about our physical health since the different branches of service in which we served saw to that. His focus was upon our mental and spiritual lives. So he was always challenging us to read good books, to study the Bible, to memorize scripture, to pray and do various other disciplines.  He wanted us to change our old ways and grow up in the way of Christ.  The downside was that he tended to be legalistic about it. Nevertheless, it was good for us. Since then, those habits he helped ingrain in me left a lasting impression. For example, from those days I have become a voracious reader, something I never was until about that time.

Years later, my wife and I got involved in a networking business. It was through the leadership with whom we interacted that challenged us to continue to stretch ourselves and grow, but to do so in all areas of our lives. Because of those influences, we have been rather intentional about learning, growing and changing.  Some years were more rigorous that others; some years we were forced into growth and change because of the severe trials we encountered; some years were not as hard.

Thinking back over the years we found that men and women who were considered successful in their fields were so because they worked hard at stretching their own hearts, minds, and lives. I know there are individuals who just “happened” to fall into financial success or success in other ways due to good circumstances; but for the most part successful people are those who work hard, discipline themselves, push their own limits and purposefully set their sights high and pursued growth and change.

At the same time, there are those who arrive at their comfortable limits and choose to coast in life. The man who followed after our disciplined missionary friend in Okinawa was such a man.  He was a “nice” guy, but about as opposite to his predecessor as one could be.  And it had a terrible effect on the ministry and the lives of the military men and women who were at the servicemen’s center.

A minister is to grow. He is to be challenged, tried, disciplined and forged into Christ’s man. The apostle Paul makes clear that the spiritual leader who works as an undershepherd to Christ, must be disciplined (Titus 1:8) unto godliness (1 Timothy 4:7-8). We are to press on to the finish line of the call in Christ (Philippians 3:12-14), seeking to win the race set before us (1 Corinthians 9:24), while running with steady endurance (Hebrews 12:1).  As ministers, we are to follow Paul’s example and discipline our bodies (1 Corinthians 9:27) into submitting to God’s holy will and way so that in the end we can say with him that we have “fought the good fight, and finished the course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

This being the case, let me propose some general, yet important aspects of a minister’s life which should grow (for example, see Romans 15:14). These questions are designed to provoke you to think and act:

Am I growing spiritually?

1.   Am I growing in my prayer life?

Do I pray regularly?

Do my prayers reflect biblical prayers or are they merely a shopping list for God?

What things am I praying for my life?

Am I praying for others?

Do I pray with others (such as at prayer meetings)?

Am I praying with and for my family?

2.      Am I growing in worship?

Do I seek to glorify God in all things every day?

Do I have regular, personal times of worship with God?

Am I committed to regular morning worship?

Do I understand, believe, and act upon the biblical teaching that the Lord’s Day is really God’s Day that was set aside to be spent delighting in Him?

3.      Enjoyment and fellowship with God

Is God the savior and lord of my life?

Am I a biblical disciple of Jesus Christ or merely someone who is a formal Christian?

Is God at the center of my thoughts, motives and actions?

Do I enjoy Him? Do I delight in the Lord or do I find my happiness in other things?

Am I growing in Christ-like character?

One who is growing and maturing in Christ-like character is a person of “engraved distinctive quality” who remains steadfast in moral excellence.  This minister lives a  praiseworthy life. He is a person of special quality in whom others willingly place their trust. The godly minister grows in:

1.      Discipline and self-control

2.      Emotionally

3.      Love

4.      Attitudes, such as

(1) Courage as opposed to fear

(2)  Passion as opposed to apathy

(3)   Hope, in contrast with negativity

(4) Confidence compared with doubt

(5) Humility against pride

Am I growing in my comprehension?

This has to do with what God wants you to learn and know about him, about yourself, about his creation, and much more. He wants you to grasp his knowledge in order to think his thoughts about all of life and therefore live a life of wisdom and love. To know in this way is to seize and grasp things mentally, and perceive things morally. This requires disciplined study for the gaining of truth and knowledge, and the understanding of the nature, significance and meaning of things; understanding cause and effect, etc.  Even more, the Bible calls us to grow  in grace and truth with regard to the things of:

1.   God

2.   Myself

3.    My area of labor or calling

4.   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 clichés 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.”

Am I becoming more competent?

All believers are to become more competent in the sense of following, doing and performing God’s will. This is means you have the requisite ability to respond to and meet the challenges of life and ministry. To grow in competency is to be qualified and faithful in the issues and details of life. It means growth to be more effective in relationships, in communication skills, in godly and work performance, and to be able to lead and to get others to follow. Consider then,

1. Am I growing and becoming more skilled in life. This is as aspect of true wisdom (see Proverbs 4:7-8 and 19:18)

2. Am I growing in my talents?

3. Am I growing in the spiritual gifts God has given me?

4. Am I growing in my ability to have healthy relationships through love?

5. Am I growing and changing in my communication skills?

6. Am I advancing in life as a godly man, overall?

7. Am I becoming a more godly and Christ-like husband?

8. Am I becoming a more godly and Christ-like father?

9. Am I growing in the ministry to which I have been called?

Obviously there are many other areas about your life that you could consider or investigate. The bottom-line challenge is this:  are you disciplining your life toward godliness so as to become a more complete person in Christ, as well as a more complete minister of Christ?

_______________

D. Thomas Owsley

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Growth and Change is Critical for the Church Leader

A critical requirement of a Godly leader and minister is personal growth! And growth requires change.

What is growth?

First, growth is the development and progress toward maturity. It also means “expansion, advancement, improvement, and an increase in capacity, extent or prevalence.” Third, as Bill Vermeulen says, growth is “The capacity of each person created in God’s image to reach far beyond perceived levels of achievement.”

Growth is both necessary and required for a leader

In the Bible growth is presumed because it is the nature of God’s creation. What God creates grows. It is a characteristic of creation.  Growth is also a characteristic of God’s people (Job. 8:7; Psa. 1; 92:12; 2 Cor. 3:18). At least it is supposed to be. This is revealed more clearly when we consider all the terms and activities that pertain to the Christian: discipleship, nurture, change, learning, etc.

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 (Isa. 28:9; 1 Cor. 3:1-2; 14:20; Eph. 4:14; Heb. 5:12).

We have ample illustrations in the Scriptures of the men God used for his purposes, but after they grew in maturity:

  • The prophet Samuel grew “in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men” (1 Samuel 2:26).
  • The prophet John continued to grow “and became strong, increasing in wisdom and the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40).
  • Like Samuel, Jesus the perfect prophet and God-Man “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).
  • The apostle Paul “kept on increasing in strength and baffling the Jews in Damascus, by proving that his Jesus is the messiah” (Acts 9:22).

In writing to young Pastor Timothy, the Apostle Paul admonished, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (ESV, 1 Timothy 4:7-8).  That kind of training is a rigorous exercise that demands change and a push toward maturity. If Christians are expected and called to cultivate (nurture and grow) the gifts God has given them (Matthew 25:20; 1 Timothy 4:7, 14; 2 Timothy 1:6), how much more the Christian leader?

If you are a leader in the local church, especially an elder or pastor, here’s a question for you: Are you growing or are you withering?

Growth for maturity

God is concerned with the growth of the whole person!  He calls believers, and especially leaders in his church to grow in life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-11).  We are admonished to leave the elementary teaching about the Christ, and to “press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God” (NASB, Hebrews 6:1).

We all begin our spiritual life as infants in Christ.  But one of the evidences of true, spiritual vitality is a desire for God’s Word. This is a desire that craves the Word like infants crave milk (1 Peter 2:2).  As we satisfy those spiritual cravings with God’s milk we mature to the point where we want more substantial food. This shows we are growing with respect to salvation.

Deacons, elders, pastors and other leaders should be growing, just like God’s chosen servants did in biblical times. They grew physically, mentally and spiritually (Exodus 2:10-11; Acts 7:20ff; 1 Samuel 2:26; Luke 1:8; 2:40, 52).

Indeed, all of God’s people are to grow from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)!  Are you growing in physical strength and health?  Are you maturing mentally?  Are you making progress spiritually, becoming less like your old sinful self and more like Jesus Christ?

Growth is Commanded

Yes, God calls His people to mental, social, emotional and spiritual growth. In fact, He demands it! As a believer in Christ God expects and requires you to grow in Christ (Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:15; Colossians 1:10; 1 Timothy 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).  In the New Testament, Paul tells us that “…we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, that is Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

As a matter of fact, the idea of perfection in the Bible has to do with completeness, arriving at the destination of wholesome fulfillment and holy maturity in Christ-likeness (Galatians 3:3ff; Philippians 3:12; James 1:4).

On the positive side, you can be assured that spiritual growth will bear a tremendous influence and have a great impact upon you (Proverbs 9:9; Matthew 12:34ff; Mark 7:21).

So, the bottom line is this: at minimum, God’s people are supposed to grow up. 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 nearly always growing. To be a leader, it is necessary that you grow!

Growth is a choice

Normally a person grows mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, etc.  This kind of growth can be “accidental.” In other words, it just happens in the normal course of time. After a while one must make a conscious decision to mature any further.  Should I finish school? Should I go on to college or pursue advanced degrees?  Should I exercise and do strength building? Should I become more disciplined in life, become more competent in my field of interest, advance in my line of work, and so forth.  So, at some point growth and maturity is a choice.

Real leaders, especially spiritual leaders and godly church officers (deacons and elders), make a conscious choice to mature.  Maturity for the leader is intentional.  Leaders push themselves to grow in many areas of their lives. They intentionally set out for themselves goals with plans to achieve those goals.

Speaking generally about leadership, 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
  • A 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?

Well?

If you are a church leader serving in Christ’s church, it is critical and imperative that you aim for Christi-likeness, and that means growing and maturing with intentionality.  This kind of growth is necessary, required, and commanded. But it is also a choice. A genuine godly leader will grow; maybe not consistently and in every way, but he will seek to make progress, discipline himself toward the ultimate goal of becoming complete in Jesus Christ so as to serve fully as a model to others, and as one equipped to serve others.

If you are in a leadership position in the local church, but you are not growing, then you should either repent and set out for growth or step out of the role. Otherwise, keep on pursuing the course of God’s high calling in your life.

______________

D. Thomas Owsley

 

 

 

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Growing as a Man and a Leader in Jesus Christ

God is looking for F.A.S.T. men!

(Faithful –Available – Spiritual – Teachable)

-Anonymous

 

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)

prayer
worship
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
  • Courage
  • Love
  • Attitude and emotionally

 

c.     Comprehension

  • of God
  • of  God’s Word (study, knowledge, memorization)
  • of myself
  • of my area of labor or calling
  • of general knowledge

 

d.    Competency

  • 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)

  • prayer
  • worship
  • 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

c.     Emotionally

d.     Love

e.     Attitudes

(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

 

3. Comprehension

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.

 

4. Competency

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

My comprehension

My competency

 

(2)  Prioritize

 

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:

_____                        Spiritual

_____                        Physical health

_____                        Mental

_____                        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

_____            Emotionally

_____            Love

_____            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):

Prayer    ______________________________________________

Worship  ______________________________________________

Enjoying God   __________________________________________

Fellowship with God  _____________________________________

 

12.   I am growing in knowledge in the following areas:

_____      God

_____       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.

 

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