I’ve been at this a while. I started in ministry as a volunteer leader of a small college ministry in 1983. I was a college student myself (on the 10-year plan it turned out) but only a couple years older than the students. It was a life-changing experience for me and led to a vastly different career path.
In those early days I had several mentors that helped me begin well. More importantly, they helped me see the long view and encouraged me onto a path of personal growth that shaped me over time and as I went. I am still on that path.
Here is what I know about personal growth:
Personal growth is daily
Personal growth is daily. It is not something that happens as a result of a single step or a one-time commitment. It’s a daily commitment to go again, to try again, to take another step.
Yes, there is a need for Sabbath. And there is a need for rest and days off and vacations. But those don’t deter or defer personal growth. They make it possible.
Personal growth is daily. How are you growing today?
Personal growth requires challenge
Personal growth requires challenge. There is effort and endurance required. Spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. The easy path, the path of least resistance, rarely leads to growth.
Personal growth requires challenge. What are you up to that is requiring effort?
Personal growth is about being a learner
Personal growth is about being a learner. It is about being a student. It is about being a student of the pathway, of those ahead in the near distance and of the One at the front of the line.
Being a learner requires curiosity and a preoccupation with questions. “What would have to be true for that to happen?” “How might we do that?” “What causes that to happen?”
Personal growth is about being a learner. What are you learning?
Personal growth requires commitment
Personal growth requires commitment. Commitment to today’s effort to be sure, but also commitment to the journey itself.
Personal growth requires authentic community
Personal growth requires community. The truth is, there are very few among us who are able to self-initiate personal growth and change. The rest of us require authentic community, the kind where in addition to camaraderie there is a deepening awareness of not-like-Jesus that needs shaping, truth and grace, loving affirmation and loving rebuke.
Personal growth requires authentic community. Do you have that kind of community?
This article originally appeared here.