In this season, isolation and anxiety are understandably commonplace. As church leaders, these times mean rethinking everything while managing staff, congregational expectations, dwindling financial reserves, and more. You are doing more than ever and you need God more than ever. If you want your people to grow spiritually, you need to set the pace. And that means being intentional and transparent about your own spiritual growth. It means honesty.
The importance of honesty
One of the things I take away from this pandemic is the ability to be honest before God and before others. We can drop the pretense that everything is “good” because it’s not. Everything has changed and that has brought upheaval in everyone’s lives. Sharing with our staff and congregations honestly about where we are struggling and how God meets us in that struggle is powerful modeling. Honesty opens doors to relationships and it gives permission to others to be honest as well.
What kind of community do we have if we all pretend everything is fine? Not much of one. And how will the people we lead have the courage to be honest if we, their leaders, are always projecting that everything is fine? Yes, we have our hope in the Lord. Yes, he is in control. But that doesn’t mean everything is fine right now. It’s not. And we are not. We live in a critically fallen world and we should not be fine with it.How will the people we lead have the courage to be honest if we, their leaders, are always projecting that everything is fine? Click To Tweet
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (I Corinthians 15:19).
We all stumble and fall and get discouraged. Undeniably, that is a realistic part of living in a fallen world. And the sooner we are honest with our congregations about our own hard times, the sooner they will feel comfortable with opening up honestly about how they are feeling. Your own spiritual growth transfers into the spiritual growth of others.
You should be able to answer these questions honestly before you ask the same of others:
- How are you experiencing God?
- What is going well for you?
- What challenges or struggles are you facing?
- What is one area of personal growth that Holy Spirit is prompting you to work on?
- What are you hearing God say through your scripture reading?
- How are you serving others as the hands and feet of Jesus?
- Who are you coming alongside in their spiritual journey?
The Disciple Assessment- Do you see the need for deepening and stretching your faith? Do you want to see transformation that makes a difference inside and out? All of us have different strengths, different growth areas, and different needs. This assessment will help you and those you are discipling to determine your unique areas of strength and growth. The results provide help to get where you want to go as you follow Jesus on your holistic journey of discipleship.
Guide for Discipling- Ready for serious growth as a disciple of Christ? This scripture-based guide will challenge you to take the next steps. This is a great personal study but better done in community with others. Grab a couple of people to walk through this guide together to experience transformation. Available for the Lutheran, Vineyard, and Episcopal church cultures as well.