As someone with a military background, I’ve learned the value of discipline. Discipline brings restrictions, but it also brings results.
As it is with the military, so it is with Christian leadership. But I’m not talking about push-ups, I’m talking about the spiritual disciplines. They are a means of grace in your life and leadership.
By “spiritual disciplines,” I mean reading and memorizing the Word, prayer, fellowship, fasting, and all the rest. For the best guide possible, see Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.
As you engage the disciplines, you’ll reap maturity and growth as a Christian. That doesn’t happen by accident. The apostle Paul knew this: “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).
There’s no secret to the Christian life. No gimmicks. If you want to grow as a Christian and as a leader, it takes discipline and training.
If your aim was to run a marathon a year from now, you would probably develop a training plan to prepare and prevent the damage you could do by just running a marathon off the cuff. If you decided you wanted to be a doctor, you know that there are years of training that go into. Nobody wakes up with the ability to do surgery.
The same thing goes with your soul. You’ve got to train yourself for godliness. It won’t happen on its own.