When our kids were young, they went through several growth spurts. Their physical growth happened naturally, but most growth requires intentionality.
In their early developmental years they had both Patti and me, their grandparents and their schoolteachers setting the course of their advancement. Sound familiar?
- What about our adult years?
- Who sets the course of your advancement now?
- It’s up to each of us individually, isn’t it?
One of the true perils of leading church ministry is being so invested in the growth of others that your personal growth goes unattended to.
How do you ensure that the busyness of your life and ministry doesn’t take over and inadvertently prevent your intentional pursuit of personal growth?
The principle of putting your oxygen mask on first during an in-flight emergency is critical, but also counterintuitive. You want to take care of your loved one first, but if you don’t take care of you, you can’t help anyone else.
When you consider your continued growth, were are you headed?
How do you know if you get there?
Any growth-oriented content you consume is helpful, but if you have a specific direction, if you have a sense of where you want to go, then selecting content and coaches to support progress in that direction allows your growth to become exponential.
4 Aspirational Pathways To Help You Keep Growing
1. Think Bigger
The pressures and challenges of daily life often create lids to our thinking. The energy expended to solve problems leaves little margin for imagining something larger and better that status quo. How can you break out of that trap?
First, understand that the people around you and especially those closest to you set the bar for how big you think, so make wise choices about your inner circle.
Who is in your inner circle? How do they shape your thinking? Do they leave you dreaming or drained?
After you work through the question of who you closely associate with, are you visiting organizations larger than yours and learning from them?
It is a good idea to see and experience organizations and their various environments, especially churches larger than yours. Size alone doesn’t mean those organizations are better, but it does mean they have traveled further in their leadership journey and have practiced bigger thinking.
Every time I step into an environment larger than where I lead, I see what is possible and it immediately causes me to think bigger.
How you think determines how you live. In fact, you naturally move in the direction of your most dominant thoughts.
Do your best to think biblically, values-based, hope-filled, other-oriented and set your sites on a purpose bigger than you.
Where are you thinking too small?
Take time to be quiet, think, pray and write your thoughts for clarity.
2. Stretch Further
When margin is low and pressure is high it’s easier to pull back rather than stretch your leadership. It’s tempting to hold steady when we should risk. We never grow during status quo, it’s only in the stretch.
- If you believe God is with you, and you fervently pray, what keeps you from stretching toward larger leadership?
- What is holding you back?
- What do you need to let go of to take hold of the new?
We are all temped to live and lead inside the framework we know rather than to venture beyond what we know. That’s where we are comfortable and feel more in control, but growth is experienced outside our comfort zone.