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“Before you are a leader, success is about growing yourself.  When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

– Jack Welch

I have a rose bush that my mother-in-law brought me from Alabama.  We planted it and every year my hubby prunes it — sometimes pretty aggressively! We fertilize it and spray for disease. Then in the spring, new leaves and branches come out and flower beautifully. The bush seems to survive the brutal cutting and is restored to its grandeur.

Colossians 1:9-12 gives us a few highlights for growth:

Restoring Personal Prayer — stay connected to the source for growth, the life-line, God

* Pray for knowledge of his will — “real knowledge” not just an impression or feeling but a deep, complete knowledge of his will that is revealed in the Word of God.

* Pray for spiritual wisdom and understanding of his will; wisdom is the ability to gather and organize principals from Scripture and to understand, apply those principals to life.

* Pray for a renewed vision — his will.

* Prayer is our source to stay connected to the Lord we serve and to hear from his spirit. Call upon him!

* Pray for those on your team, that they will stay connected.

Walking Worthy — as leaders, called by God, we walk daily in a way that pleases God. To live in a way that is consistent with the I.D. that we are God followers, God’s children!

* Walk worthy in our actions/heart attitude, pleasing to God.

* Walk worthy by good works. (James 2:17-Faith without works is dead.)

* Walk worthy by growing. When we are teachable and are constantly seeking and applying we will grow. Like a rose bush, we are being pruned—confessing sin, repenting, and growing in faith and knowledge of God that produces the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control) and the fruit of other followers of Christ.

* Walk worthy by exercising his strength, drawn from his might not our own. In our weakness he is strong.

* Walk worthy by our steadfastness and patient endurance — patience to endure difficulties, knowing that they are producing more godliness, steadfastness, steadiness, positivity and love consistently in our dealings with others.

* Walk worthy by joyously giving thanks. Recognize the source of all the above; only through his Spirit can any of us walk in a manner worthy of our wondrous Lord! Be thankful for the inheritance promised, which gives us security in our leadership; we know whose we are and where we are going!

As leaders, we have talked about restoring your love for the Lord. We can’t pass on something we have not experienced. We are all a work in progress; we are all growing, constantly being renewed. Part of that process is giving constant attention to our own walk with the Lord and then in return encouraging women in our sphere of influence to do the same. In order to lead, we have to be growing, moving forward in our relationship. Sometimes it may feel like you are taking two steps forward and three steps back but rest in knowing that God has begun a good work in you and he is perfecting it. Just like my rose bush, we begin again in a new way.

Are you growing as a believer in Christ? What area do you struggle in? What steps are needed to grow?