Stagnation happens in bodies of water when the water stops flowing or moving. Stagnated water can lead to contamination, becoming a breeding ground for insects, bacteria and parasites which leads to disease and possibly death. Because that’s a dangerous situation, hazardous to health, we should avoid stagnated water. And, we should also avoid stagnation from developing in the Body of Christ.
When Churches Become Stagnated
Stagnation happens in bodies of believers when teachers and leaders become satisfied with status quo. They basically stand still, making little headway. Soon the church becomes unhealthy, no longer able to offer a cup of life-giving water to others. Some of these churches eventually die.
Leaders can plateau, maintaining rather developing or moving forward.
Teachers can get stuck in ruts, using the same methods over and over.
How Church Leaders and Bible Teachers Avoid Stagnation
Think about what it takes to prevent water from stagnating. We can draw similar parallels for what it will take for leaders and teachers to avoid stagnation.
- Movement: We’ll prevent stagnation by keeping the water moving, stirring it up. We set goals, based on prayer and constantly work toward them, always looking ahead to what God wants us to do. Stagnation isn’t an option. — “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on …” (Phil. 3:12-14)
Instead a resting in the way we’ve always done things, we try new means, or methods, of accomplishing the same task. We keep seeking to get better and to reach more. We never stop learning but take the time to keep growing.
- Drainage: Letting water seep out as new water comes in can help avoid stagnation. And so, we invest into people’s lives rather than simply run a program or teach a class. We reach out to others beyond our group, giving to them from the vast reservoir poured into us. As we have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), so we bless others. — “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)
Are you taking steps to avoid stagnation?