When I do training and equipping work with churches the issue of change and spiritual formation often takes center stage. "How can we become more X?" is the big question. Given the work I do with churches, the question is generally "How can we become more hospitable?" But the examples abound: How can we become more gentle, more kind, more prayerful, more giving?

The strange thing is, as I often share with churches, we already know the answer to these questions. We know how to go about changing everything in our lives...except being like Jesus. Want to lose weight? We know what to do. Want to get more organized? We know what to do. Want to improve your marriage? We know what to do. Want to improve your grades? We know what to do. Want to exercise more? We know what to do.

But when it comes to being like Jesus, we're stuck. Totally flummoxed.

But really, we do know what to do.

The issues and solutions may vary case to case, but they all share a common solution.


Focus on behaviors. Set goals. Take action. Seek mentoring and coaching. Create accountability.

Change only ever happens when we become focused and intentional. You have to wake up with an intentional, goal-oriented focus and plan aimed at some behavior and carry that focus and execute that plan throughout the day. All of us know that if we don't do that our grades won't improve, we won't lose those pounds, we won't exercise more, we won't get more organized, and our relationships won't improve.

So, how to we become more like Jesus?

Again, we know that answer. Intentionality. Without intentionality we'll never become more hospitable, gentle, prayerful or kind. For some reason, we treat being like Jesus as a problem different from, say, weight loss. But change is change, and the technology of change is quite similar no matter the issue.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply