One of the most dangerous aspects of success in any work of God is that it would lead to complacency.

The truth is, it is easier to rejoice in a victory of the past and simply maintain going forward than it is to take continual faith-filled risks and build going forward. To “labor together with God,” however, we must engage in His work of building—not simply maintaining.

The tendency of every spiritual leader and every church is to slip into maintenance mode—often without even realizing it. So how do you know if you are building or if you are simply maintaining?

An honest assessment before the Lord is the best place to start. Below are twenty comparisons between a leader or a ministry that is building and a leader or ministry that is simply maintaining. Which most accurately describes you or the area of ministry you have been called to lead?

Building Maintaining
Vision for future Hoping to make it through the week
Continuing to learn Stagnating
Visible growth Static
Active opposition Regular difficulties
Always looking to implement fresh ideas Scared of the work required to implement fresh ideas
Continual adjustments toward a goal Stuck in a rut
Growing personal walk with God in the life of the leader Stagnant spiritual growth in the life of the leader
Soulwinning and reaching new people Running programs
Effective calendar Full calendar
Increased faith Static or declining faith
Belief that the best days are yet ahead Greatest days are memories of the past
Risk taking, based on God’s promises Cautious, based on visible resources
Hungry to experience more Content with present success
Continual realization of unfinished Great Commission Happy to see completed labor
Engaged in people work Preoccupied with administration
Others focused Inward focused
Positive group momentum Leader is the only one engaged
Regular spiritual victories Not-too-noticeable spiritual defeats
Willing to make hard choices Looks for easiest path
Desire for growth Content if there is no loss


As spiritual leaders in the local church, we are the manifestation of Christ’s declaration to His disciples when He said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). We must not simply slip into maintenance mode as we labor in the greatest work of God on earth—the local church.

At Spiritual Leadership Conference ’15 our theme is based on Christ’s words “I Will Build.” If you need to shift from maintenance mode to building or if you could use equipping to be a better builder, I invite you to join us—in person or via live stream.

May we, as laborers together with God, rise up and build!

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