Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
John Maxwell found himself at a crossroads of reaching the pinnacle of ministry within his
church ministry and wanting to grow and have more influence. A few years back I found myself in a similar situation. I was attending a church that actively engaged the community, had sound biblical teaching, a solid youth program, and was part of the men’s leadership team. Everything was in place to live what would appear to be a faithful Christian life. Yet, I felt like I had more to offer and had run into a glass ceiling of leadership. Because of this and other life circumstances, our family found a new church to attend.
In both John and I’s cases we most likely would have led wonderful lives and had notable impacts on our communities. But because we saw the limits of the environment we were in we decided to change environments. This was clearly a great choice for John. For me, the choice was and is also fruitful.
A year after the church change I found myself once again on a men’s leadership team. I had connected with a mentor who I was meeting with weekly. Most importantly I found an environment that allowed me to explore who I was, and what I could be, and allowed me to challenge the status quo.
Environments should be evaluated on whether or not they are going to help you accomplish what you want to achieve. If you have a glass of ice water you aren’t going to be able to make lobster stew. But you will be able to quench your thirst. A pot of boiling water is a lot better to make lobster stew. But I wouldn’t suggest using it to quench your thirst.
Be aware of the environment you are in, because environments always change over time. To cook a lobster you don’t just throw it in a pot of boiling water. You place it in an environment it likes, cool water. Then slowly you turn up the temperature. Your environment will do the same. It will be the perfect place for a season but if you are not careful it will slowly change over time. Then you will find you are ok with the status quo and be cooked.
How do you know when you are in the wrong environment to be a good disciple-maker? When should you change the environment you are in? Why would you give up the comfort and familiarity of where you are? Assess your current environment, discipleship is growth. Are you growing? If not, what needs to change? You must be in an environment of discipleship in order to show others how to be in discipleship.
Go, and outlive your limits!