What does it take to take to go to the next level in any endeavor? All things require some talent, some acumen, some common sense and some determination but there are two things people rarely want to do, to go to the next level: 1. Sacrifice and 2. Work hard.
I recently read that even Lebron James had to make sacrifices and had to work harder after arriving in the NBA. As I read about Lebron, I gained a new appreciation for an athlete that so many seem to hate. I learned something from Lebron James that can be transferred into any endeavor in life.
First, we all know that having goals is what sets acheivers apart from those who just get by in life. I read about Lebron's simple goal in life that helped me understand why he sacrificed time outside of regular practice and sought help from a special coach even after he made it to the NBA. Getting to the NBA was not Lebron's goal it was merely a vehicle, or tool, effective in Lebron reaching his one simple goal.
Perhaps I should expalin that in my opinion most people are content to get to or merely half way, or in rare cases, one step past there wildest dreams and then they stop trying, give up, or self -destruct in some way. I believe this is what is wrong in the American church among many born again believers. Complacency, apathy and contentment with mediocrity kills marriages, kills job performance, kills all types of relationships and it is killing the church in America, as a whole.
If you read Thom Rainer you will soon discover that the growing and effective churches are not churches that accept mediocrity, nor are they complacent. Great Commission churches are fueled by a passion to glorfify God. So, they have goals and they are strategic and they do not settle for mediocre talent in leadership and mediocre expectations for the congregants.
So, what does this have to with Lebron? Lebron's goal is to be the best basketball player in the world. So, even after he makes it to the NBA and he is cashing big checks and he is on ESPN and in Sports Illustrated; Lebron is doing grunt work behind the scenes to improve his weaknesses. Lebron worked with a shooting coach to improve his 3 point shot. As a rookie, defenders would mock Lebron about his 3pt shot and sometimes not even guard him outside the 3 pt line.
Even after Lebron had "arrived", there was still work to be done. Even after you are saved and become part of a church there is work to be done for the kingdom and for your own personal growth because as born again believers in Christ, our goal is not to be saved from hell, our goal to bring glory to God. To bring glory to God we must always give our best effort, be willing to allow God to change us and make us less like ourselves and more like Him.
So, whatever your hands find to do, do as unto the Lord. If you are part of a church get involved, volunteer, use your God given talents. Be faithful, be available, be teachable and live to the glory of God. What areas of your life need to improve? Do you give your best at work and not at home? Do you give your best effort hunting and fishing, but not at church?
We never arrive as Christians. Christ provides salvation for us and calls us from darkness into the light, but we never arrive. While salavation is complete, we are far from being what God will be in us and through us, if we will die to self and die to laziness, complacency and mediocrity in our own lives and as church members.
This why we are going to make some significant improvements at Stave Creek, or at least I am going to continue lead us in that direction because God deserves our best. We can be better to His glory. The things we have planned for this year are for God's glory and our own good. Join me in working the plan, acheiving the goals to the glory of God in obedience to the Great Commission. This will require sacrifice and hard work. This requires not settling for just getting by. Jesus did not cut corners nor did he leave the job unfinished. So, join me and lets reach southwest Alabama, America and the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ!