Altar Calls, Conferences, and Why Change Is So Hard

I live in a state of constant frustration. Well, frustration is a strong word. Maybe “dissatisfaction” is more appropriate. But some days it sure feels like frustration.

  • Frustrated with the gap between where I am and where I want to be.
  • Frustrated at the level of discipline it actually takes to create new habits.
  • Frustrated at how I spend time on pointless activities instead of keeping first things first.

The Process of Personal Growth

I’m on the worship team at my church, so I get a front row view to the ministry times at the end of each service. Every Sunday people will come forward for prayer for healing, needing direction, needing encouragement, etc.

God knows I’ve been down to the front myself for prayer many times.

These are wonderful times of introspection and great for making decisions that can change your life. But too often, people expect the “life change” to happen in the 10 minutes that they’re down there praying. Then they get frustrated when they’re still the same person on Monday morning.

In the same way, I’ve been to dozens of conferences…listened to greats like John Maxwell, Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, and Andy Stanley. And man do I love the energy and motivation that comes with a conference.

Until about Wednesday.

Usually the excitement wears off rather quick.

And you’re left with the tedious discipline of making daily decisions to either change your life, or drift back into mediocrity.

You see…altar calls and conferences are the same in this respect. They are excellent for getting clarity on a matter so that you can make a right decision on that matter.

But that’s (usually) not where the change happens!

The change occurs day after day as you put in the time and the discipline needed to change! It is not easy and it is never automatic. You must put in the work.

Or in the words of Solomon, “The sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” Proverbs 20:4

Never confuse making a decision to change with the actual daily discipline of changing. I’m sure the sluggard made a decision to plow…but when the time came to put in the work he was nowhere to be found.

[reminder]Identify one area of life where you are being a “sluggard” – where you’re not doing what you know you need to do in order to reach your goals. And if you’re brave enough…please share what it is in the comments![/reminder]