The Japanese (Toyota especially) use the term kaizen to describe a desired norm in the business culture. It’s steady, constant improvement. I like the concept and try to utilize it in my life and in the worship and adult ministries I lead at Calvary Memorial Church here in Gering, Nebraska.
the last part of 2 Corinthians 3.18 describes it this way.
… so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more (NLT).
More and more like Him.
Reflecting His glory even more.
Little by little.
Yesterday at the Global Leadership Summit, Jim Collins (author of Good to Great) reminded us that we should strive for a 5% net gain in effectiveness each year. He’s big on numbers (I’m not – I’m a musician. I count to four and start over) and told us how it would go. Bottom line? A 5% net gain each year will result in a leader even you don’t recognize in 5 – 10 years; you’ll have grown that much.
I’d heard that before and have been aiming for that benchmark since 2005. I’m not the man I was in ’05. Ask anyone who knows me. 2005 was a year of intense, even painful re-structuring, re-building, re-inventing for me. But God granted my prayers and infused me with new energy, new vision and renewed passion for people and ministry. I’m not the same man I was five years ago.
But I’m not done. The coming year will, by God’s grace, include another 5% gain in growth and development, personally and in ministry. I’ve identified some people I want to pour myself into as influencer and mentor. I’ve ear-marked some areas where I want to become good. I mean *really* good, and I’m ramping up the discipline and tooling to make sure it happens.
God approves. The branches that bear fruit, He watchfully prunes for even greater fruitfulness.
To quote Bill Hybels, another speaker and host of Global Leadership Summit: When I see the Lord and we review my life He’s either going to say “well done” or “what was up with that?” I want to hear the “well-done”.
If we’re still here in 2015 I hope you don’t recognize me as a leader. I want to keep growing. If our Lord returns before then, I’m hoping for well-done when He evaluates my life.