November 27, 2017

(15 minute read)

Is it your job to make sure you grow spiritually? Absolutely. Is it your pastors job to pour into you? Yes. Do some leaders get this wrong? Unfortunately, yes. But does that mean you get to close yourself off to the church? Definitely not.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the importance of growing yourself spiritually. So many people have handed over the responsibility of their lives over to someone else, but that truly doesn’t get you anywhere except to be stuck in a victim mentality. Today I want to continue that conversation about growing up, however I want to look at it from a few more angles. Ready for some fatherly encouragement for the week? Let’s take a look at today’s Monday Motivation video for more:

In a nutshell:

  • We were never created to be independent or dependent. Rather, we were made to be interdependent.
  • Romans 12:5 says, “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
  • Some adults have never grown into interdependence. This can happen when your expectations of authority aren’t met (whether you’re disappointed or maybe even hurt by leadership), and you learn to not trust other people. This leads to living as an island without any authority.
  • I do understand that some churches have become the clone zone where you have to look and act like everybody else to belong. Some of the independence we’re seeing is a reaction to this.
  • What I mean is that if leaders communicate “unless you look like me, I have no value for you,” then people react by not valuing leadership.
  • The truth is there is no such thing as a perfect human being, so there’s no such thing as having leadership in your life without being hurt. To the level that you can be loved is to the level that you can be hurt.
  • You can shut yourself off to hurt, but you’ll starve to death for love. If you’re starving for love the chances are you’ve been hurt in the past and won’t let anyone close enough to love you. You could be starving for the very thing that you’re afraid of.
  • The other side of the coin is that some people never move out of dependence; believing that somebody, whether it’s their parents or the government, has to take care of them.
  • In dependence circles people say, “I don’t get fed at that church”…we’ve all been dependent when we first became Christians, but some people get stuck in that mode.
  • Signs of dependence mentality: when you come to church you’re looking for someone else to be responsible for you, you don’t take risks, or you don’t set goals because you don’t want to fail.
  • Codependent relationships are when two dependent people create an ecosystem around their dysfunction. It can look like: “I get my value out of feeding someone who refuses to feed themselves. It feels good that they don’t get out of their dependence because it validates my worth to be able to help them. We’re both in dependent mode and their dysfunction feeds my dysfunction.”
  • There are codependent church cultures where the pastor gets his validation from the fact that the church needs him, and the goal is that they body keeps needing him. The goal should be that (Ephesians 4) the church grows up and the body supports the body (not the leader only supports the body).
  • The ultimate goal of church leadership should be that the body is trained with all five-fold ministry, so that when you run into somebody who needs God, they find Him in you.

Activation for the Week

Do any of these dependence mentalities hit home for you? Have you gotten stuck in “somebody needs to take care of me”? Or maybe you’ve fallen into independence and shut yourself off from the church? The truth is you can’t always help what happens to you, but you can help what happens in you. Regardless of your experience in the church, whether you’ve been coddled or hurt, I want you to know that today you can step into a different reality.

Today I want to encourage you to take control of your own emotions, your own life, and your own destiny. What does that practically look like? First, ask Holy Spirit to reveal what kind of dependency you’re living in, then ask Him for your first step into wholeness. And then TAKE THAT STEP. I know it’s so easy to just read something like this and then move on. But this week I want to challenge you to actively participate instead of passively consuming. As a Father I exhort you into growing up in God, which looks like something. You can do this! What step will you be taking? I’d love to hear in the comments! Also feel free to share this with someone you think may need it.

Topics: All TopicsIdentityLeadership


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