Proving Ground - Part 2
In order to reach the next level in your life, change is inevitable. We can't progress if we are stuck in our old ways. If you want to reach the next level, it's time that you implement some healthy habits into your routine.
We are picking up where we left off last week with our Proving Ground series. Here's a recap of the first two tests Kevin Gerald discusses in the book:
The Test of Small Things - This test comes to prove a leader’s potential for greater opportunities.
The Motivation Test - You could be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, so this test challenges the why behind what you do.
Let's dive into the next two!
3. The Credibility Test
This test will prove that you maintain integrity, refusing to compromise ethics and morals in pressured circumstances.
Credibility is a combination of what you do, who you are, and how others view you. Gaining and maintaining credibility is what opens the door to a leader's next opportunity. Even Jesus had to build credibility.
Earning credibility requires competence, including the skills needed for the role you're playing as well as the appropriate knowledge and the right kind of habits. Competence is credibility based on what a leader can do today. So how can today's leaders maintain competence for tomorrow?
More than ever before, it is vital that today's leaders are good self-developers. You have to equip yourself so that you can remain competent. Yesterday's success may be applauded, respected, or honoured, but competence is credibility based on what you can do today. This credibility is earned by performance, not respect, love, honesty, courage, or other important virtues.
Leaders commonly fall into the negativity trap, seeing only problems and not solutions. In Proving Ground, Gerald lists six questions a leader can ask themselves to avoid negativity:
What do I think about the most?
How do I respond to problems or difficulties?
What do I do when I hear negative feedback?
How comfortable am I with failure or defeat?
What kind of people do I get along well with?
How do I respond to positive information?
Our sphere of influence is enlarged when we pass the credibility test.
4. The Wilderness Test
When you’re in a drought or dry season, this test will prove your potential to make the changes necessary to enter the level of maturity and prosperity in your life.
One strong characteristic of the wilderness is a lifestyle of routine. The way out of the wilderness requires change and breaking the status quo. Our tendency as leaders is to shrink back from making the necessary changes because it is easier to become comfortable with habits of routine.
We cannot have progress without change. Not all changes lead to progress, but all progress requires change. We have to push past the fear of change and learn to embrace change as a positive thing.
Just like a desert lacks the resources to provide life and vitality, a dry mind and spirit lack the ability to provide those things that bring growth. I have to personally worship God. I have to read the Bible to feed my faith. I have to pray and connect with God. I have to feed my mind with knowledge by reading books and listening to podcasts.
The church at Pentecost had to change in order to move forward. What motivated them was a strong faith in the future. In Philippians 3, Paul says, "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."
"Pressing on" is the key to getting out of the wilderness. Paul's motivation for pressing on was the prize of doing God's calling; the vision to bring Jesus to a hopeless world. To build His church. Because the church is the hope of the world and we have a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.
We would highly encourage all of our listeners to purchase their own copy of Proving Ground as we discuss this book together. If you'd like to purchase one, you can find them here.
If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.