Not All Progress Is Improvement

Every leader is led by someone or something. As Christian leaders, we should be led by God, through the Holy Spirit and the life of Jesus Christ. If this is true, then our followers know where we are going and the standards on which we measure progress. 

Now, what if we are being led by someone who is not a believer in Jesus Christ? Or someone who doesn’t believe in God at all? Does the vision of where we are going look the same? Are the standards on which we measure progress the same?

Progress is defined as: “Forward or onward movement toward a destination; advancement or development toward a better, more complete, or more modern condition.”

Maybe Peter warned us so admittedly about false teachers (leaders) because of definitions like this one. The adversary has been using “sleight of definition” since the Garden of Eden to trick us into following false ideals. So, the questions we should be asking our leaders are:

  • What destination are you trying to reach?
  • What do you consider to be a better condition?

If our leaders are taking us closer to a destination that does not align with what we consider a better condition, is this truly progress?

For instance, if parents are signing their kids up for all the activities they wish they had done as kids but the child’s grades begin to suffer because of it; are they truly making progress? What if your salesmen are closing more deals but the contracts are with shady organizations. Are you truly making progress? Or, what if your non-profit is feeding more people but those you are feeding are becoming reliant on your service for food. Are you truly making progress?

To achieve progress is to first define progress. 

As a servant leader are you progressing towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission? Are you improving the lives of others? Are your becoming more like Christ?

Not all progress is an improvement, but without progress, there can be no improvement.