Leadership is never static. It requires intentional personal growth. Below are five quick thoughts I shared during our recent Spiritual Leadership Conference on steps to personal growth as a leader:
1. Read Daily to Grow
There is no substitute for daily spending time in God’s Word. The Lord uses His Word to teach us, convict us, comfort us, and equip us. Just as you schedule time preparing sermons or lessons, you must schedule time in which you nurture your own soul in God’s Word.
2. Listen Daily to Broaden
Cultivate a sensitivity in your spirit to the Holy Spirit, to biblical preaching, and to godly spiritual leaders. In my observation, one of the main reasons preachers and other spiritual leaders fail is because they are too proud to listen to counsel, advice, or even rebuke. Listening to the Holy Spirit and those He places in your life requires humility. And it requires time and follow through.
3. Pray Daily to Yield
Begin every day by purposefully submitting to the Holy Spirit. I often pray something to the effect of, “Lord, I want You to have Your will and way in my life today. Here are my plans for ministry today, but I want to follow Your direction as I serve.”
4. Meditate Daily to Apply
Sometimes we rush so quickly through the motions of prayer and Scripture reading that we give the truth no time to sink into our hearts and change our lives. As you read God’s Word, as you encounter truth in preaching or other reading, allow time to meditate. Give your mind time to absorb what God is doing in your life, and note how you are going to apply what He has been teaching you.
5. Journal/File Daily to Retrieve
Whether it is a notebook, a smart phone app, or a computer file, find a retrievable system to record the things God is doing in your life. The process of recording helps to clarify and solidify growth, and the ability to retrieve it later makes it useful for sharing with others in preaching and teaching.
These five simple steps are basic, but sometimes we let the basics slip. If you want to grow as a spiritual leader, you must grow first as a Christian.