Muscles. The more I work out, the goal is to get more lean muscle and burn through fat. One of the ways you do this is by not just doing all cardio, but also muscle toning activities. As you lose weight and get fit, you create new muscles and strengthen current ones. You can get sore. But even though you’re sore you don’t just quit working out do you? No, because eventually the growing pains are going to get you from point A to point B. Hopefully change for the good.
Church is a lot like this. You go through growing pains in your daily ministry workouts. Sometimes the soreness of change doesn’t feel good, but you keep going because you know there is a bigger vision than you. There is a bigger vision than just your respective ministry area. Hopefully in your church everybody is on the same page because we are one body. I’m learning that in order for the body to function effectively the brain has to communicate what the heart (the pastor) wants to do. (I realize my illustration may not be exactly anatomically correct, but just go with me here.) If we are to be one body, we must act as one body- the hand and the foot need to know what each other is doing so that we can support one another. Again with the muscles- they support the appendages in doing their job. Muscles are alot like the guidelines and values we put in place to uphold our ministry activities and efforts. The bones (our beliefs and vision) give us structure. If the muscle comes away from the bones, it makes it difficult to function and can be painful.
Another thing is your vocal cords. They are muscles too. I’m a singer, and the more I use my vocal cords the better it gets. Just like an athlete conditions to strengthen their muscles, I have to practice conditioning my voice to stay in shape.
Ask yourself if your guidelines and values are supporting your structure or if they are coming away from it. Are you fleshing them out daily, or are you saying those are your guidelines/values but doing something else? We constantly need to be asking ourselves this in order to be efficient, effective and grow.