Saturday, July 5, 2008

Health Check-Up?

This past week I was at the Christian Associates U.S. Office based in Thousand Oaks, CA. We were interviewing candidates for church planting positions on teams around the world. It was an incredible process of listening intently to the candidates and from the Lord regarding His desires and direction.

During the week, Hud McWilliams - the head of our pastoral care team - brought a message about the importance of life-long learning. He laid out a series of "diagnostic" statements that are worth repeating and pondering. Here they are:

1. Healthy things grow.
2. Growing things change.
3. Change causes anxiety.
4. Anxiety produces a response.
5. How we respond is an indicator of our health.

The anxiety associated with growth causes many of us to step back from the growth opportunity. Our response, rather than leaning into the change and seeing it bear new fruit, often looks like resistance, stubbornness, or, as we see in scripture, a stiff-necked rebellion. That posture stunts our growth and ultimately limits our experience of Christ and our fruitfulness in ministry.

Our past years have been marked by change. At times we've met it with open arms and walked into new areas of unprecedented growth. Other times, not so much. In our commitment to living a healthy spiritual life, we desire to press through the discomfort of change, and enjoy new ways of relating to God, and new expressions of ministry to others.

What about you?

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