There is no such thing as growth without change. Of course, change is not always indicative of growth. Sometimes it is the result of drift—doctrinally, spiritually, or philosophically. Sometimes change is also forced by outside circumstances.
Even so, where there is growth, there will be change. This is true in every sphere of life, including your walk with God, personal relationships, development of skills, and more.Where there is growth, there will be change. Click To Tweet
This doesn’t mean every change will be radical. In fact, those consistently making radical changes are probably either immature (a young Christian making positive radical changes in obedience to God’s Word) or unstable (a leader constantly changing his philosophy or doctrine).
But a growing leader will be constantly making adjustments to reflect the growth he or she is experiencing. These adjustments should be led by the Holy Spirit and carried out with a commitment to honor God’s Word.
Here are three areas that growing leaders will consistently adjust:
1. Adjust your methods.
As challenging as the Coronavirus has been, one blessing that can come out of it for Christian leaders is a re-evaulation of methods. There are methods that have become part of our institutionalized church culture that may have been more effective decades ago than they are now. For this reason, having our entire weekly church schedule and even the greater part of our annual calendar disrupted can be a gift if we will seize the opportunity to evaluate what programs and events are still serving their intended purposes and if there are better ways to accomplish the same purposes.
These exercises should always begin with an absolute commitment to biblical commands and principles. For example, Scripture specifically instructs us to assemble and worship (Hebrews 10:25). Thus, I’m not re-evaluating whether or not our church should hold Sunday services. But our team has reconsidered some of the other meetings that typically happen at our church around Sunday services and how canceling or rescheduling those could help make the actual church service more meaningful.
You’ve heard the saying, “Methods are many; principles are few. Methods may change; principles never do.” The key is to hold to biblical principles while adjusting the methods to best follow those principles.
If every aspect of your personal or church processes look exactly the same after this pandemic ends as it did before, there is a good chance you missed an opportunity for growth and needed adjustments.If every aspect of your personal or church processes look exactly the same after this pandemic ends as it did before, there is a good chance you missed an opportunity for growth and needed adjustments. Click To Tweet
2. Adjust your priorities.
Priorities have a way of shifting over time. And while we rarely change our stated priorities, seasons of growth lead us to reexamine our actual priorities.While we rarely change our *stated* priorities, seasons of growth lead us to reexamine our *actual* priorities. Click To Tweet
Sometimes we say our relationship with God is our first priority, but then the Holy Spirit brings conviction that we’re not spending time with Him. Sometimes we say we are called to reach people with the gospel and equip a church family to do the same, but in actuality, we’ve gone weeks without personally sharing the gospel with a lost person.
When the Holy Spirit points out a shift in your priorities, don’t let that pass as a simple moment of conviction. Consider what specific adjustments you need to make to retain a consistent focus on your God-give priorities.
The Apostle Paul maintained a laser-like focus on this one thing: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).
There cannot be lasting growth without a continued focus on God-given priorities. And when those priorities begin to slip (as they inevitably will in all of our lives), one of the first steps to helpful change is readjusting your priorities.
3. Adjust your vigilance.
The tendency over time is to relax your guard, but real growth will lead to a sharpener awareness of Satan’s wiles.
Think of a soldier in battle. A new, scared soldier will see every bit of movement or sound as a threat. With experience, he’ll learn that everything isn’t a threat. But at that point, he will either let down his guard and thus expose himself to true threats, or, he will sharpen his senses so he is less jumpy but more alert.
Christian leaders do not have the luxury of letting down our guard. First Peter 5:8 directly commands us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
As we learn and grow as leaders, we should become more vigilant, not less. Satan is on the prowl, and he is out to destroy you.As we grow as leaders, we should become more vigilant, not less. Click To Tweet
Guard your spirit. Guard your testimony. Guard your heart. Fight temptation. Resist Satan (1 Peter 5:9, James 4:7).
Which comes first?
Growth leads to change. But change can also lead to growth.
Churches and Christian leaders worldwide are in a season of imposed change. Even when we get past this pandemic, there will be cultural changes that began during it and are here to stay.
The question is, will you grow through it?
And if you are growing, what adjustments do you need to intentionally make to facilitate that growth?