Many of us can recount those almost always awkward stories of growing up, of those visits with aunts, uncles and extended relatives who, after not seeing one another since last year’s family get-together, were compelled to make syrupy sentiments, such as “Wow, you have really grown!” or “You are so big now!” or “You look more and more like [name of person you least wanted to resemble].”
We smiled, politely, then glared at Mom or Dad, seeking reprieve before Aunt Ida told the same wincing story she did last year. And the year before. And the year before that.
We love growth. Transformation. Big change. As leaders, we know that telling the breakthrough stories of what God has done is one of the ways we stay committed to the work God wants to do, is doing, and will continue to do. Redemption, restoration, healing, miracles. More, please.
For the past many years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of organizations—businesses, nonprofits, schools, churches—helping senior leaders to facilitate clarity, communication and deep change. Although purpose, values and vision are common ingredients that every organization must continually articulate and possess, the difference between those living into their preferred future and the ones who gawk about it are the ones who spend less time looking ahead and more time focused on the mundane, boring, never unimportant next step.
The world’s best artists will tell you that their greatest accomplishments are not in the presentation or performance but the crucible of daily—often unremarkable—disciplined progress.
Some say that the devil is in the details, but I’m convinced the Holy Spirit is even more. Just like raising kids who look big and strong for Aunt Ida is achieved one day at a time (feed, change diaper, discipline, repeat), so too is the deep work that is needed in our own lives, relationships and organizations. The world’s best artists will tell you that their greatest accomplishments are not in the presentation or performance but the crucible of daily—often unremarkable—disciplined progress.
This is not an admonition to abdicate ourselves from compelling vision or clear values. Vision will always guide us, and values can be the glue that connects us. But what grows us more than anything is found in today’s obedience. The next phone call, invitation, prayer, act of service, dinner date, after-school carpool, team meeting and text message. All of it requires all of us because the simple becomes significant when we allow the Holy Spirit to do His best work right now.
In our becoming a diverse movement of Jesus-followers, Foursquare will always look back on what God has done and rejoice in the bright future we have ahead. In between, it’s your turn. My turn. Let’s go.