While in college at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, I read a book by author Jeremy Rifkin called Entropy: A New World View. While I cannot remember anything the book said, I do remember the principle that he was sharing. Entropy is the tendency to gradually decline into disorder. This is true in our lives, at our workplaces, and in our churches. Entropy tells us that our churches, if left alone, will gradually decline into disorder. This has been stated in other ways, as well. Proverbs 29:18 reminds us that if there is no vision, the people will perish. We’ve also been told that if the pastor doesn’t lead, someone will. The truth is that if there is no sense of vision or direction, entropy will begin to take hold in the church. Usually, in the church community, entropy is seen in one of two ways: (1) through defaulting back to an inward focus on fellowship (just being together); or (2) division and fighting for control and power.
The solution for entropy in our churches is found in the phrase “if left alone” from the sentence in bold above. As leaders in the church, we cannot leave it alone to fault into disorder. While vision is important, we must always be seeking to evaluate how we are doing on our journey of fulfilling the vision. We must continually be improving and moving forward toward that vision goal, or entropy will begin to set in. How do we do that? By living the principle of Constantly Improve Your Position.
- My friend and coach, Nelson Searcy, calls this his Principle of CANEI. CANEI stands for “constant and never-ending improvement.”
- Recently, I viewed a video by CMDR Rorke Denver in which he shared the Navy SEALS principle of Constantly Improve Your Position. You can view the YouTube video by clicking here. It is well worth your time and is only a little over 3 minutes long.
No matter what it is called, the principle is this: you need to constantly be evaluating and improving your position – both in your personal life and in your church. In your personal life, you need to be reading, growing, learning, and applying what you are learning to both your life and your ministry. In your church, you need to be setting up a structure to evaluate every ministry and system toward the goal of improving that ministry or system. In short, Constantly Improve Your Position. Doing so will allow you and your church to have a greater influence on the community around you. Failing to do so will ensure that entropy will set in and your ministry and church will move toward less influence and decline.
Questions to consider:
- Do you have a plan for personal growth? What are you doing to ensure that you are growing as a leader?
- Do you have a system for your church to constantly evaluate its ministries toward the goal of improving?
NOTE: This is the first in a series of posts where I will be sharing leadership principles that I have learned over the years. Check back often under the Leadership tab for more of these principles. Or, better yet, sign up to receive my free eBook (top right column of this page) and you will receive these principles and other posts right in your inbox.