Another helpful analogy is shifting gears. There are times when God wants us to transition to a new gear, so we can move faster on less energy. When I became the Senior Minister of CityLife Church back in 1995, I sensed God directing me to make seven strategic shifts in our congregation. These are articulated in my book Transforming Your Church.
God also spoke to me about making a number of personal shifts a few years back. Here they are:
Seven Strategic Personal Shifts:
- From 'rowing' to 'sailing'. This is a shift of focus from my energy to relying on the Spirit's energy. It's about positioning myself to catch the wind, rather than rowing harder and harder.
- From 'task' to 'relationship'. This shift is about spending more time in a Mary posture, rather than getting caught up in a Martha syndrome (Luke 10:38-42). It's a greater focus on intimacy and a depth of spirituality, rather than on mere productivity and task orientation.
- From 'ministry maturing' to 'life maturing'. This shift is from 'doing' to more 'being'. It's about coming to a greater depth of spiritual authority, rather than simply developing more knowledge and ministry skills.
- From 'pastoral/administrative' to 'prophetic/apostolic'. This shift is from merely working on today, to creating future movement. It's about stepping aside into the river of God's Spirit and stepping up into the authority God has given me.
- From 'copying' to 'creating'. It's a shift from mere 'imitation' (of what others may be doing) to 'innovation' (what God wants me to do). It's about taking time to receive the unique blueprint of God's design for my life and ministry.
- From 'sonship' to 'fatherhood'. This is a shift of focus from 'receiving' life for myself to 'giving' life to others. It also involves a shift from being a 'local church' to becoming a 'movement of churches'.
- From 'independence' to 'interdependence'. This is a shift from 'God bless what I'm doing' to 'Father, what are you doing that I can partner with today?'
Shifts like these take time and require quite a radical transformation, a bit like a caterpillar morphing to become a butterfly. We can't make them happen by our own energy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit as well as our own struggle, we will morph indeed! I'm still on the journey, that's for sure.
What specific shifts is God calling you to make? From where to where? Take time to reflect on this and write down what you sense him saying to you.
Tomorrow we move on to Step 2 of our Life Planning exerise.