Jesus consistently challenges his followers. And, because we’re each unique, Jesus knows each of us needs a different type of challenge.
Jesus Will Challenge Your Priorities
Jesus demands to set the agenda in our lives and ministries. He will ask us to give up many things so that we will match our priorities with his. For instance, Jesus challenged the rich young man to give up his material wealth for something better: eternal life. The issue wasn’t the young man’s wealth—it was that the young man did not have Jesus as his #1 priority.
Jesus Will Challenge Your Faith
Jesus asks you to do the impossible. When Jesus sent out the apostles, he said, “As you go, announce that the kingdom of heaven will soon be here. Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid” (Matthew 10:7-8 CEV).
Jesus Will Challenge Our Small Thinking
Jesus does this by giving us a greater vision, like the Great Commission. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, it was physically impossible to complete, but he used it to expand the vision of his disciples and to get them started planting churches across the known world.
What are ways you can challenge people to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus?
Think about who you need to challenge. Everyone in your life is there for a reason; no one is there by accident. God put them in your life for you to lead them and challenge them in his cause.
Ask God for insight into those you lead. God knows how he put them together. He knows how they need to be challenged to reach his purpose for them. Ask him to help you know what strength, talent, or ability is in them that you need to bring to the forefront.
Ask, “Where do I see potential in those I lead?”
Involve those you’re challenging in a project that stretches them and helps them develop a strength in their lives.
Challenging those you lead to do something they didn’t think they could do may be your most important task as a leader. If the people you’re leading are only doing what they can do in their own power, they are living faithlessly because what they do does not require faith.
By helping those in your congregation step out in faith, you will find your own faith being stretched as well.