10 Things About Getting Better.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23
1. Anything less than continual improvement of your gifts and talents is an ungrateful response to the One who gifted you. God gives us the full potential of the gift or talent but it is our responsibility to continually develop the skill.
2. Bigger isn’t better. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because things around you are growing that you are getting better. Growth can come from a variety of sources and it can often be misleading. Better is better. Growth can also mislead us into thinking we can cruise. Cruising is leadership malpractice. Seasons of growth should compel us and propel us into intense times of learning and stretching. We’ll never be ready for what’s next until we learn from what’s now.
3. You won’t know where you are going until you know where you are. Reality is the ultimate indicator and most of us dress up reality to make her prettier than she really is. Don’t fool yourself. If you don’t see reality clearly you will never see your opportunities for improvement. Reality almost always requires an outside opinion.
4. Don’t fall in love with your stuff. Marry the vision, date the methods. The good ideas you had yesterday were never meant to be institutionalized or monumental. They were merely what you needed to get you to today. Tomorrow may need a new innovation. If you fall in love with your ideas and your initiatives you will become blind to better things.
5. Insecurity is insidious. Our natural tendency is to deflect criticism with self-defensive rationale. Face it. None of us are as good as we think we are. Lead with a posture that tells others you are open to their ideas. You are even open to their ideas about your ideas. God has put high capacity people all around you to help you become all He has created you to be.
6. No one drifts to better. Better is a pursuit. Getting better requires planning, study, mentors, evaluation, measurement, and discipline. Unfortunately, churches everywhere suffer from well meaning staff who always intended to get better but never did. The stakes are high. The consequences are real.
7. Getting better energizes and challenges the people around me. The people I work with see what I am doing and they won’t want to eat my dust for long. The volunteers in my ministry will appreciate the trajectory of progress. People are drawn to excellence and repelled by mediocrity. Growing leaders don’t usually have a hard time recruiting others. They also keep their volunteer base over the long haul.
8. Don’t try to get better at everything. You need to have clarity on who you are and what your position requires. If you can’t lead the position and it’s responsibilities on to the next level, make it available to the next person. If you can get better at your top 3 or 4 responsibilities, do whatever it takes to maintain a personal incline of excellence.
9. Getting better will alleviate doubt, regret and second guessing. You need to know that you are doing all you can do, you’ve done all you are capable of doing and the results are in God’s hands. It’s a terrible feeling to know that you could have done more.
10. Getting better is discipleship. It’s not about making the boss happy or the board happy or the people happy. It’s really a matter of pursuing Jesus with every area of your life. Serving in a local church is a huge responsibility. The nature of 24/7 ministry requires that we steward all of our resources in a way that honors God. Don’t get better because I’m asking you to. Get better because you want others to see Jesus in you.