The Process of Progressive Change
We have been talking a lot about people in our posts lately. Hiring people, onboarding people, and we will continue in this series over the next weeks by discussing topics like coaching, corrections, and even termination. Today though, we want to pause and talk about the mindset and heart posture behind all of this.
We are committed to long-view leadership that is relational and progressive, because growth is a process and not an event. It’s tempting to simplify leading someone down to a series of events rather than a lifelong process, but consider how God works with us: The Father’s work of justification is an event, but His work of transformation is literally a life-long process. When justifying you, God is fully aware that He is committing himself to a day-by-day process of illuminating, confronting, convicting, forgiving, transforming, and delivering grace.
Leaders, this is our model! Our charge as spiritual leaders is not to manage operations, but to be ambassadors of God. Kingdom leadership is ambassadorial work from beginning to end. It is not shaped and directed by personal interest, personal need, or cultural perspectives. Kingdom leadership is not first about what we want from our people or even for our people, but about what God in grace has planned to do through us in our people.
In light of that Kingdom reality, we don’t see leadership as a series of dramatic confrontation-confession events, but rather a life-long process of incremental awareness and progressive change. It’s important to make the mental shift from viewing good leadership as a series of unrelated corrective encounters to viewing leadership as a life-long connected process. Change is most often a process and seldom an event. Here, in a phrase, is what you’re committing yourself to: many mini-moments of change.
You see, God loves each individual on your team, and because He loves them, He added them to your organization’s family and placed them under your authority. He is longing to transform them into the fullness of who He created them to be and teach them how life works best, and one primary way He wants to do that is through you. God will expose things He wants to redeem within His beloved child again and again so that you have opportunity after opportunity to take yet another step in the process of awareness, conviction, commitment, and change that He has called you to be part of in their life.
Each day you look for another opportunity to advance that critical conversation one more step and because you do, you don’t consider those moments where correction is needed to be interruptions or hassles, but gifts of grace afforded you by a God who is at work in the hearts and lives of your team. You are not mad at your team members for needing you; you’re happy for another opportunity to continue the process. In fact, you look for opportunities to address what God has shown you about the needy heart of each individual.
**The idea for this content was largely based on “Parenting” by Paul David Tripp (https://amzn.to/2JgxOUX). As I read this book, I felt compelled that it captured the heart we should have as leaders, so I adapted some excerpts to that context. We simply want to credit that transformative book by Dr. Tripp, which we’d highly recommend for any parents. It will challenge you, and if you allow it, change you to better represent the heart of God to your kids.
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