When I was a kid, I remember a short conversation with my sister. My sister told me that maturity is not something self-proclaimed. Maturity is something that other people has to see in our lives. The proof of our maturity is through the lens of other people and not us. Now, whenever I’m reminded of the word: maturity, that moment always comes back to me. Maturity, for me, seemed to be very elusive. Because of that conversation, I had no idea when I’ll become mature. I guessed it’ll just happen, but when will that time come? After college? When I’m married already?
I also remember a comment made by my parents, that when you start to have kids then you’ll definitely mature. So again, another image stuck in my mind, that I’ll only mature fully if I get married and have kids one day. From that day on forth I thought that maturity is only for grown up people.
Whenever I hear the word: “Maturity” these words pop into my mind: Adults, Married people with kids, Parents and Grandparents.
I felt like maturity only belonged to old people with kids, so I had to wait when that time comes before I mature.
I held on to that belief UNTIL I came to Victory and learned about the MYTH of MATURITY. That’s the first time I ever heard of that phrase: “The Myth of Maturity.”
The context of the whole myth in our Church is about discipleship. SIDE NOTE: Even if that’s what the myth is really pertaining to, I believe it still has the same applications in every area of life. According to the myth: “No one should minister until they are mature”. The myth of maturity is explained by Pastor Steve Murrell (http://stevemurrell.com) in his book: WIKICHURCH.
In his book, he explains what the Myth of Maturity is about and I quote:
“No one should minister until he is mature. This myth convinces believers that before they even attempt to minister to others, they need another discipleship class, training course, leadership seminar, and framed certificate on their wall. Only then would they possibly be mature enough to be used by God.”
I believe that the reason why some of us view discipleship like this is because of the word: Maturity and what it is associated to in our society. Just like my earlier stories, I believed maturity is mostly equated with age and time. I believed that we have to wait a certain period before we become mature. I believe this is the reason why some of us are afraid to minister because we feel we’re not yet mature.
The truth is, there’s some element of truth about maturity having something to do with time. As I looked for the definitions of maturity in Wikipedia these came up (I’ll just post the things we can all relate to):
Maturity may refer to:
- Adulthood or age of majority
- Developmental age
- Maturity (finance), a financial term indicating the final date for payment of principal and interest
- Maturity (geology), a geological term describing rock, source rock, and hydrocarbon generation
- Maturity (psychological), a term in developmental psychology to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner
- Maturity (sedimentology), a geological term describing the proximity of a sedimentary deposit from its source
As I read these different references on the subject maturity. I noticed that almost all of those subjects relates maturity directly to TIME. I think this confirms my theory that maturity is mostly equated with time. However, if you noticed, there’s one there that doesn’t relate maturity directly to time and that is Maturity in terms of psychological behaviour.
As I clicked on that specific link on psychological maturity, this is the definition that I got:
“In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive.”
After reading that, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized that the maturity to minister has something to do with the psychological maturity. Whereas most topics on maturity has something to do with TIME, the psychological one has something to do with it being a LEARNED behavior!
Now the MYTH of MATURITY makes more sense to me. The myth that: “No one should minister until they are mature” is by all means NOT TRUE. Maturity has mostly been associated with time, but the maturity that is being mentioned here is more related to it being psychological. Maturity here is more of a learned behaviour than being a function of time.
Great thing is Pastor Steve corrects this myth and gives us the TRUTH of Maturity and I again quote:
“We can’t wait until every believer feels mature enough to minister because no one will mature unless they minister. This is one of those chicken and egg conundrums. Which comes first – ministry or maturity? According to the Bible, ministry comes first.”
I just love the wisdom of Pastor Steve and our leaders in Victory because I saw truth of maturity applied in my life. Below are some of the “firsts” in my life, firsts in ministering to people:
I remember the first time I did One2One with someone. He was more than 5 years older than me. The first time I did One2One with him, I remember that I was very nervous before we began. In fact, I thought I wasn’t qualified to do One2One with others yet before our encounter. The good thing is someone pushed me to do One2One with him. “Bakit hindi nalang ikaw mag One2One sa kanya?” That gave me encouragement! That’s when I realized that our church being an empowering church is not just lip service.
When I was about to ask the person I did One2One with if he wanted to receive Jesus Christ in his life, my heart beat fastly because I feared that maybe I’ll get rejected. Praise God he received Christ in the end. 🙂
The first time I did Life Group was with my officemate from Standard Chartered Bank back in 2009 if I remember correctly. We were trying to reach out to our other office mates. I remember one time where I led a life group. I was so nervous that I was reading the notes I wrote on the material. One of our officemates noticed and criticised me saying that I was just reading the notes. I felt like I bore them all. Ouch! There’s a first time for everything I guess.
The exhortation I’m talking about here is that part near the end of the praise and worship. I remember the first time I did this, if I remember correctly that was back in March 2011. I was asked to transition during the Sunday Service. I was the service lead for three services. Again I was so nervous and panicky. Because of my nervousness, I dropped the Bible just right before the tithes and offering part. I remember someone shouted to encourage me “Come on Andrew!” I was so moved by that. I’m thankful for people who believe in me even if I wasn’t an “expert” yet.
The first time I ever preached was back in June 2011. This is right after the IGNITE campus conference. Again, another milestone and another first in my life. I was, you guessed it, so nervous when I prepared and when I got up on stage. I brought my whole iPad with me containing all my notes. I ended up reading word per word my manuscript because I haven’t internalised it. Probably my worst ever preaching. However, I was still so thankful for the opportunity and that someone trusted in me. 🙂
I recounted and shared all of these first moments in my life to show you that no one is MATURE enough the first time we do this. The only way we’ll ever mature is if we minister and learn from our experiences. I hope this helps and this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and have the desire to minister. If you have an opportunity, grab it! Don’t over analyse and just like what NIKE would say: JUST DO IT. The first time would probably not be the best and will be forgettable, but hey there’s always a first time. The promise though is if we minister then we’ll mature! 🙂