Press On

By May 21, 2020Church, Leadership

During a study break in 2017, I read “Emotionally Healthy Leadership” by Peter Scazzero. I’ve been a big fan ever since. It challenged me to rethink how I approached leadership, discipleship, and self-care. At this point in my life and ministry, I know I must be intentional about setting myself for maximum effectiveness.

In a recent podcast, Scazzero dealt with an issue that all leaders struggle with: what it means to be successful. Here’s part of what he said …

“Success is becoming the person God has called us to become and doing what God calls us to do. In other words, detaching from the outcomes and circumstances we want, and surrendering to God and his will, is success — regardless of where that takes us.”

Under normal conditions, it’s hard for us to not confuse success with outcomes. We are wired to achieve, accomplish, and execute. When we produce the right outcome, we feel successful; which often means, we also feel worthy. Unfortunately, when we fail to produce what we hoped for, those feelings of worth quickly go away. Failure brings feelings of being inferior or inadequate.

That’s under normal conditions.

For the last several months, we’ve been living in a very different environment. Conditions have changed. Circumstances have changed. We’ve adapted, adjusted, and tried to figure out the new normal — all while hoping it’s a temporary new normal.

In this environment, it’s even more important to detach your sense of self-worth from your ability to achieve certain outcomes. Pre-pandemic, we might have been able to believe the myth that we were in control; COVID-19 has stripped that away.

So, what do you do?

If you follow Jesus, it’s what Jesus has called us to do all along — press on.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14

Even if you don’t follow Jesus yet, this is still great advice.

According to the Apostle Paul, it’s necessary to have a goal, something bigger and larger than yourself. It’s important to set your eyes on winning the prize. Since you can’t go back and change the past (“forgetting what is behind”) or leap frog over the present challenges, what is left to do?

Press on.

What I love about this simple phrase is that it’s present tense (present indicative active, to be precise!). In other words, this isn’t something Paul did once in his past. It’s something he chooses to do every day. No one forces him to get up and get moving. It’s a daily personal decision.

The kind of faith that grows and matures is one that is built incrementally, moment-by-moment.

Perhaps the most faithful thing you will do today will not be big, spectacular, or splashy. It will be the decision to press on when your circumstances are gloomy and you’re not producing the outcomes you desire. It will look a lot like getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and getting on with your day.

For Paul, true success was being faithful to God’s will, one step after the other.

Press on.

Experience and Background

  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in management and leadership
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
  • former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

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