stuck

Pastor Steven Furtick has always been an inspiration to me since the day I first found him on the web.  I know his blog touches millions everyday.  Every once and awhile he will post something that I will think “Wow, I needed to hear that!”  Check out what he says about feeling stuck.

I often have folks tell me they feel stuck at their currently level of progress:

• Pastors whose churches aren’t growing
• Professionals whose careers are stalling out and losing momentum
• Christians who are sick of pitiful prayer lives or predictable sin patterns

There’s nothing more frustrating than spinning your wheels, revving your engine, and going nowhere.   Here are 3 simple (and inconclusive) pieces of advice that help to pull me out of the mud when I’m bogged down.  I hope they help you too.  Let me know if they do.

 Expose yourself to something different.
I was at a meeting recently and at lunch, all the white guys were kind of sitting together, all the black guys were doing likewise.  I went and sat down in the middle of a group African American men twice my age, and I could barely find time to take a bite of my food because I was too busy soaking in their perspective on a number of leadership challenges.  The advice they gave me was refreshing and profound, because they see the world differently than me.  Along these same lines, a businessman was in my office recently, and he remarked that a lot of the books I lead our staff through are not “church work” books.  There’s a reason behind that.  I refuse to allow our paradigms to get stuck in the rut of one mode of leadership.  I advise you to get out there.  Learn from people you disagree with.  Read blogs and listen to sermons that rub you the wrong way.  You’re a big boy.  You can eat the fish and leave the bones.

• Set your sights on something higher.
Maybe you feel stuck because you’re in survival mode rather than expansion mode.   If your goals revolve around barely getting by, you’ll eventually find yourself in maintenance mode because there’s nothing worth growing for.  One of the quickest ways for me to get unstuck is to zoom out to a wider angle and reevaluate why I’m doing what I’m doing.

• Seek the Lord with greater intensity.
One of the most beneficial (and grueling) things I did around the time we started Elevation was to go on an extended fast.  It provided my spiritual life with an uncomfortable edge, and challenged the dullness of my American spirituality.  Whether it’s 40 days without food or a series of simple changes in the rhythm of how you spend time with God, getting unstuck starts with a tighter connection to Jesus.  There is no substitute for connection, and without it, even if you feel like you’re making progress, you’re really just burning calories on the treadmill…but going nowhere.

By the way, my Executive Pastor Chunks wrote a great entry about the barriers of growth that keep churches stuck here.

Getting stuck isn’t a always bad thing.  It often means you’re off road, exploring new frontiers…and that’s a good thing. But staying stuck is a sin.  May God give you insights that will force you forward in every area of your life today.

Blown away.

-Jordan

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