Savour The Small Steps

By Equipping

Do you see them? Yes, they are going up already. Election posters with your local members face smiling at you while you wait in traffic. And then you’ll see, either on the nightly news (OK, I’m showing my age, who watches the evening News anymore) or on your internet news feed, all the big, wonderful, amazing promises our politicians will entice us with if we vote for them.

Everything is going to be BIG for the next month or so.:... read more

But it’s not sustainable is it. I don’t mean the election policies (I sure hope they are sustainable), but the BIGGNESS. Most of us will turn off very quickly and all we’ll hear is Blah, Blah, Blah.

That’s because most of us are practical people. There are things we need to get done. We have work to do. Objectives to be met. We can’t live in the “Everything is BIG” world all the time.

That’s not saying that we don’t all have “big things” which are important to us. We do and we must attend to them. But very few of us can take “the big thing” by itself and complete it quickly. We have to break it down. We have to make it into smaller parts that we can manage.

So, how do we practically approach the big task our Lord has given us to take the gospel to the least reached people of the earth? We start small. In his book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, John C. Maxwell puts it well, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time”. These small disciplines lead to small wins which are worth celebrating because they lead to big achievements. Small wins help us track all the incremental steps involved in achieving much larger goals.

Regardless of the type of goal you set, it’ll take time to achieve it. If you wait until you’ve reached the end to celebrate your accomplishments, your day-to-day progress may be impacted because you don’t recognize the improvements you’re making. We all want to shoot for the end goal, but I have found that shooting for large goals can bring about anxiety and even lead to feeling depressed about your progress.

There’s a better way. How about stacking up some small wins? Small achievements that work as a source of motivation and build confidence toward the greater goal. Our progress is best when it’s made up of measurable and completed small steps. Cumulative small bursts of action toward making the BIG goal a reality.

As we look at the task ahead, preparing ourselves and being equipped for the task our Lord has given us, here are few things that might help.

Find someone you can be accountable to.

Don’t keep your BIG goal, or your small goals to yourself. You can share your goals with a friend or spouse or even broadcast your goals with your wider church community. Other people can provide support and encouragement, as well as motivation. You are more likely to keep working toward your goals knowing that someone else is cheering you on to complete a task.

Set achievable micro-goals.

When working out what your small steps will be, consciously note what exactly you need to do to achieve your BIG goal. Then, break it down into daily or weekly micro-goals that signify progress. These are the small wins you can stack up.

As you progress through your Connect training, this might mean taking a module and committing to finishing it in 2 months. This smaller goal can then be broken down further into the micro-goal of completing 2 tutorials each week, and even smaller micro-goals of watching a tutorial video one night, reading over the PDF transcript another day and then completing the discussions questions another day. Create a “micro-goal routine” that works for you.

Manage your expectations.

As a Military recruiter for many years, I often see candidates with wrong expectations of what lies ahead for them. This can lead to disaster if not managed properly. Having realistic expectations sounds like you’re settling for the road to mediocrity and less optimal productivity, but that disregards the cumulative effect of progress and the power of small wins. You can dream as big as you want, but the most sustainable, feedback-rich way to achieve greatness is to keep things small.

Don’t forget to celebrate

Here’s the fun part. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you stack up a small win. When you complete and micro-goal or a small step toward your BIG goal, have a small reward. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Whatever works to motivate you and keep the momentum moving forward toward the bigger goal. For me, that’s chocolate, but I’ll let you find your own motivation.

How is your mission work going?

By Discipleship, Equipping, Missions

When people ask about how we are progressing with being equipped for mission, are we bold enough to return the question with “How is your mission work going?” You are the epicentre of what God is doing in your life, but there is an outward ripple effect. As Sharon Sampson says, “As a stone dropped into water makes rings which move outward, so Jesus moves us outward”.

Chase Value

By Discipleship, Equipping, Evangelism, Missions

When I was making a career decision a few years ago I needed to make a choice which had monetary implications. When I asked a friend for advice, he said to me, “Brad, don’t worry about the money, always chase value”.

Sometimes we look at what we’re giving up instead of what will be replaced by what we’ve given up. We’ll never know what God will replace those things with until we are willing to give up the things we hold onto. So, chase value. Where is the real value found? It’s in what God replaces those other things with. But you’ll never know if you don’t give up the things that might stop you seeking first His Kingdom.

In this article, Tim Chester, writes about Jim Elliot and his co-workers who chased real value.

Your Essential Posture – Humility

By Discipleship, Equipping, Gospel, Missions

It doesn’t matter what your goal is, what strategy you have, how gifted you are or how impressively resourced you are; if you don’t have both the humility to learn and the humility to invite others to help you do that, you will always struggle in cross-cultural ministry.

If you’re interested in learning about church planting in hard places, 20Schemes is a great resource from a team of people seeking to plant churches in the housing schemes of Scotland. Read how a 20Schemes worker learnt the importance of adopting a posture of humility.

Day 6: I = Identity

By Church Planting, Culture, Discipleship, Equipping, Gospel, Missions, Vocation, WILD

The book of Acts in many ways is a story of identity. It starts out with a small group of people, mostly from a Jewish background, who lived in Galilee. But this small group saw themselves as followers of a Teacher, who they were sure was the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God.

After His return to Heaven, this small band stayed on in Jerusalem, as He’d instructed. Galilean, together with Judean followers, these followers did have some sense of common identity, but it wasn’t until after the Holy Spirit arrived on the day of the Pentecost that they really began to have a presence in the community as a distinct group.... read more

They are immediately forced to deal with the reality of being a minority group within a larger unbelieving and increasingly hostile community. As they continued to think about their new identity, God continued to reveal Truth and unfold His Story for them. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit was with each of them, and with them as a Group, a Church.

Just as the writings of Moses and the prophets defined God’s people under the Old Covenant, access to the Apostles teaching, defined the Church at its beginning. God, through the Apostles teaching, made very specific declarations to these believers about who they are.

We’ll discuss this more during our upcoming workshop, but Identity is strongly linked to Purpose. The purpose of living and working in partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ. To the Ephesians, the Apostle writes that they are members of the Body of Christ with the goal of reaching maturity (Ephesians 4:13-16).

As we saw yesterday, the early churches are told they are God’s temple, a place for His Spirit to live on earth. The Church is a living letter from God through which He communicates to the community. They are witnesses, light, salt, living sacrifices. There’s also a future part to their identity and purpose as well. They are the Bride of God’s Son, made to be His perfect companion, to give glory to their Redeemer and Lord for all eternity.