Processes of Maturity in Ministry
1. Exposure - When the truth of the scriptures is revealed to people through teaching, life examples, films, conversations, power encounters, healing, answers to prayer, people are able to see the benefits of a mature relationship with Jesus Christ. The difficulty occurs when we are unable to present the truth in a credible, relevant, or need meeting display.
2. Awareness - Making someone consciously knowledgeable is a process of exposure to facts of the faith. To gain the attention of people may necessitate a crisis, problem, or some kind of hardship. Maturity is often catalyzed by difficulties. Problems heighten people’s greatest awareness of their need for a deeper relationship with Jesus.
3. Receptivity - When someone consents to receive something, they are exhibiting an acceptance based upon its perceived worth. Belief presupposes an appreciation for the value of the ideals of Jesus and the scriptures. Openness to change assumes a willingness to see the need for improvements in one’s life relationships, and ministry.
4. Involvement - People share themselves in the interaction of relationships, ministry, and service when they want to experience something first hand. Invovlement implies that one is willing to invest his time, talents, resources, and energies into something outside of his own sphere of familiarity. Coming to a church service may be the initial step to higher levels and degrees of involvement with Christ, His body, and His great commission.
5. Growth - To increase in size, value, or appreciation, one needs to see the benefits of maturity. Growth is usually painful as it means not being content with one’s present condition. A growing Christian is one who is willing to produce fruit through the whole range of sowing, watering, nurturing, protecting, weeding, pruning, and harvesting.
6. Committing - When someone entrusts, dedicates, or consecrates a person to a task, they are putting themselves into it wholeheartedly. Naturally, this involves a risk. The Lord promises all those who commit themselves and their ways to the Lord will see their work completed. Psa. 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the Lord and He will do it!" The greater level of commitment, the greater the degree of concentration of the source of commitment. Pledging oneself to the Lord and His will is the chief catalyst for maturity. When our commitment wavers, our maturity will be diminished.
7. Valuing - Seeing the desirability of an idea, person, or object gives one great motivation for maturity. Learning to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and our neighbor as ourself is foundational for maturity. Without a deep sense of the worth of the Lord and His words, we are apt to simply go through the motions of becoming mature in Christ.
8. Expressing - We all grow best when we experience, first-hand, the excitement of representing our Lord and His word through our lips, lives, and attitudes. Our maturity is increased with greater displays of effective expressions of the truth to those who need it most. The greater our efforts to express, the greater the impression upon us to mature in Him. Without a solid impression of Him and His will, our expressions will be superficially based.
9. Organizing - Giving orderly structure to the gifts, callings, and directions of His will and work allows us to mature in the areas most suitable for each person. It is only the individual who is willing to organize his own directions through the Spirit’s leading who is able to administrate, delegate, and lead others to maturity. Many Christian leaders are hindering the maturity of their followers because they have failed to organize their OWN relationships, leading, and responsibilities.
10. Progressive Development - Maturity presupposes a mentality that wants to bring about forward progress. Traditions that serve as bridge for growth are fine, but they often represent barriers to development. To help someone, some people, or some project becomes bigger, fuller, or more whole is to bring them to a more mature state. Constructing mechanisms, motivations, and methods for development is the work of the equippers of men. People who are content to simply solve problems will be stumbling blocks for those who want to see maturity. Progress means advancing onward to something better! Synthesizing ways to enhance others maturity will involve church planting, evangelism, teaching, preaching, writing, and discipling others etc.
11. Tolerance for ambiguity - Maturity allows people to accept the possibility of more than one possible meaning in culture. Missionaries who are real diplomats learn the art and science of tolerating ambiguities.
An immature Christian cannot stand a sense of uncertainty. He has to know the state of affairs exactly as they stand without any sense of unclarity.
’Abraham staggered not at the promises of God through uncertainties but grew strong in faith being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was also able to perform.’ (Rom. 4:20,21)