Growth happens when you go beyond your comfort zone. When you’re stretched and challenged to do things that aren’t already comfortable for you, you’re enabled to reach new levels of strength, courage, and endurance. But it’s not automatic; it takes commitment to work through the struggle and experience the growth.
Jesus consistently called people to increase their commitments to Him. In Matthew 12:30 NLT says, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Jesus left us no middle ground. We’re either moving forward with Him or we’re moving in the opposite direction.
Jesus raises your level of commitment.
When two of John the Baptist’s disciples first approached Jesus with questions, He invited them to “come and see” John 1.39 ESV. They had a choice to join Him or walk away. Eighteen months later, Jesus raised the level of commitment when He called these men to leave their family businesses and follow Him full-time (Matthew 4.18- 21 ESV). Again, they had a choice.
Six months later, Jesus called them to the next level of commitment. He called twelve of His disciples to “be with Him,” to be trained for leadership. They were asked to step up to a higher level of commitment and accountability (Mark 3.13-14 ESV). Finally, after months of training, Jesus called them to the highest level of commitment: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” Luke 9.23 NLT. He consistently called people to increasing levels of commitment.
Jesus isn’t satisfied with people who give the bare minimum. It’s true that He loves you just the way you are, but He also loves you too much to let you stay that way. As you follow Him, He will always call you to new, challenging, and increasing levels of commitment.
Leaders need to call their members to new levels of commitment.
If Jesus prompted growth in people by calling them to higher levels of commitment, then it makes sense for us to do the same. As a leader, you have a responsibility to call your group members to new levels of faith and commitment. Challenge them to move beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone.
The best way to do this is through commitment and accountability. Each week in your group, you should ask the people in your group what they’ll apply as a result of what they’ve learned. What will they put into practice?
It’s possible to attend Bible studies, listen to sermons, and be part of a small group, and still not experience transformation. In your group, help people make a commitment to obey Jesus and then hold each other accountable to the commitments you’ve made. Commitment to obedience, reinforced by positive accountability, is the key to lasting transformation.
This blog features an excerpt from the Grow Series for Students.