Habit #7: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Remain Focused on the Kingdom

by Mike Mazzalongo

More Christians lose their way because they just do not pay attention! In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus describes the person who receives the Word and grows for a time but the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word and stops his growth (Matthew 13:23). Note that the man was not a great sinner, he did believe, he did practice his faith, he grew! What destroyed his soul were the things we all face each day as Christians: the things that do not seem dangerous: worry about deadlines, debts, health, family, busy-ness, activities, emergencies, making it, looking good, keeping up. He became focused on these things and these things drew his attention, his energy and eventually his soul into their orbit.

Effective Christians have learned to keep the kingdom first and have not allowed the “cares” and the “desire for riches” overwhelm their spiritual lives. When they do, they are quick to repent and refocus their attention to where it needs to be. As a matter of fact, effective Christians continue to increase their involvement, their love, their very lives in the affairs of the kingdom and decrease their involvement, their love and their lives in the world. Effective Christians know that the kingdom is forever, is reality, is life itself, and the world is temporary, is sinful and full of death. They know this and live accordingly.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Habit #6: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Serve Others

by Mike Mazzalongo

Jesus said:

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”
– Matthew 20:28

Do you think any of us would be here if Christ came as a royal king with attendants receiving the service He actually deserved? No, we are here with a hope of heaven today because Jesus Christ “emptied Himself,” as Paul says in Philippians 2:7, “…taking the form of a bond servant.” What saved us was His very effective service on the bloody cross of Calvary. What continues the salvation He delivered once for all is the effective service of millions of men and women who give themselves in service to reach each new generation of souls who are lost without Christ.

Effective Christians have cultivated the character of Christ within themselves by cultivating His character of selfless service to others for their good, their advantage and their salvation. For effective Christians, service is not an inconvenience they must bear in order to avoid guilt. No, like Epaphroditus, service is a way of life born out of love for Jesus.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Habit #5: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Take Responsibility for Souls

by Mike Mazzalongo

Paul says to the Philippians in chapter 2, verse 12 of their letter,

“…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” And it was said of the Bereans that they, “… (examined) the Scriptures daily.”

The Bereans did so to verify if Paul’s preaching was accurate according to God’s Word. Highly effective Christians take responsibility for their own souls and the souls of others, especially the lost. They are effective because they know that Christianity is not a game and faith is not a crutch for the weak. Effective Christians make a difference in their congregations and in the world because they understand that the stakes are very high (eternal life) and the enemy is very dangerous (Satan).

Harry Truman, the former President of the United States, was very popular as a tough minded, no-nonsense leader. He had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” This meant that he was the President, he was responsible, and he knew it.

We are each responsible for our souls (not the preacher, not the elders), in the end we will be judged on what we said and did (II Corinthians 5:10). Effective Christians know this and do not waste their time or spiritual energy on things that would endanger this most precious possession. They have the habit of putting what is good for souls first. This is why these brethren are so interested in saving souls, why they are good at it, why they work hard in evangelism and visitation: they know the value of a human soul. Think back to the one who brought you to Christ or brought you back to Christ… I am sure that that brother or sister fit very well my profile of the effective Christian.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Habit #4: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Cultivate Talents of Others

by Mike Mazzalongo

I don’t know where I would be without Jim Meador, Hemzie Brown, Charles Branch, Stafford North, Louis Thompson, Edsel Hughes to name a few… These are all people who at one time or another in my Christian life helped me to grow spiritually. Each of these were effective Christians who took the time to help cultivate different aspects of my Christian walk and ministry. They were my mentors at various stages of my development. Jim taught me how to study the Word. Emmie encouraged me to preach. Charles made it possible for me to get training. Louis showed me how to do local work and Edsel’s encouragement gave me the strength to pull up roots and move my family to a place where I knew no one. Part of their effectiveness was helping me to become more effective as a Christian and then as a minister.

Barnabas was one of those people in the Bible who so clearly demonstrated this habit, starting with Paul as a new convert and later continuing with Mark the young missionary.

Effective Christians realize early on that in order to stay effective they need to build up others in the body.

Solomon says:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17

Paul says it in another way:

“…we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
– Ephesians 4:15

Note that the body builds itself up. When I build you, I also build me. Effective Christians are easy to spot, they are the ones asking for volunteers.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Habit #3: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Set “Spiritual” Goals

by Mike Mazzalongo

There is a saying in business, “If you don’t plan for success, you are planning to fail.” Whether it is a business or a school, a family or a sports team, everyone needs to plan ahead. What makes us think it is any different for our spiritual lives? Effective Christianity requires that we set personal spiritual goals and actively work towards them, making the necessary sacrifices to eventually reach them. No gold medalist at the Olympics ever stood on the winner’s podium without having made a decision to pursue a personal goal long before. No politician ever won an election without setting this victory as part of his or her career strategy.

So whether it is to be more faithful to services, or starting to help out in some way; a commitment to changing a bad habit for a good one, or doing a better job in what we have already been given to do… We do not become more effective as Christians unless we visualize a realistic goal, strategize a way of achieving it and commit ourselves to reaching it in a certain time frame with help from God through faith in Christ.

Paul the Apostle saw and heard Jesus, could perform miracles, established the church in the Roman Empire, but he was continually setting new goals for himself (to go East to Asia, to evangelize Spain) in order to widen his vision for the future and keep his spiritual adrenaline pumping.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Habit #2: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians

Effective Christians Have an Active Prayer Life

by Mike Mazzalongo

We cannot effectively experience the life of Christ unless we read about it in God’s Word. God cannot effectively change, shape and mold our lives unless we share it with Him in prayer. Look at those people in the New Testament that God used in a mighty way, were they not men and women of prayer? Jesus prayed at every step of His ministry. John the Apostle was in prayer when he had the vision to write the book of Revelation. Paul prayed constantly for direction in his ministry. Lydia was at a prayer meeting when converted. (Acts 16:13-15)

The habit of prayer is what keeps us tuned in to God and sensitive to the Spirit. Without the habit of prayer the noisy demands of the world and the impulses of our flesh are all we can ever hear. The effective Christian succeeds in keeping the faith and growing in faith because he stays in touch with the Spirit of God through prayer.

Source: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Christians