The third stage in growth is Success. Everything works here. Everyone loves you. You no lonfer nee a mentor. In fact, some may choose you as mentor
The problem here is the temptation to stay here. This produces a “hollow three.” Sadly, many do choose to stay here.
You’ve seen the ones who stay here. Many an evangelist remains here, comfortable with shallow answers as long as they produce results. The fact that people who contribute to the evangelist’s success don’t stay long in the church, nor do they grow, is considered the fault of the local church or pastor. “I got them here, now it’s up to you to keep them,” is a recognizable attitude.
Success also tempts the local pastor of a large church with impressive buildings and multiple ministries to avoid “rocking the boat.” But I always remember Sister Theresa’s reminder that “Our goal is not success. Our goal is faithfulness.”
Success feels good, but it is not our goal. It is not the goal of spiritual growth. It is one step along the way, but it is not our destination. You may have heard that “the good is the enemy of the best.” So it is with the success stage of spiritual growth. It is good, but it is not the best. And, being so good, we are tempted to rest in the hammock of success, and let the world go by.
Jesus had success in his ministry, and indeed the devil tempted him to accept success. But the path to salvation, the path to spiritual growth, lies in a different direction.
We have three more steps to go. And more than one bump in the road.