SIX STEPS to Growth

6 STEPS to Growth (Tom Lane, Gateway Church)

Matt 25:14 ‘Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 ‘After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.”

21 ‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

22 ‘The man with two bags of gold also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two bags of gold: see, I have gained two more.” 

23 ‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

24 ‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

26 ‘His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 ‘“So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This is about a willingness to risk.

The one who had one was unwilling to risk.

I don’t want to hold onto anything the Lord has given me, and lose it all.

We graph growth in a linear way – up from here to the future.

But in reality, growth happens in steps.

We build the policies, make the changes, to go to the next step.

If we fail to do what we do on the tread, we won’t step up.

We work to be qualified to be multiplied.

Are you qualified to be multiplied?


What are the issues on the tread you’re dealing with now?


6 things that are part of the tread experiences to step you up


  • The PACE of ministry.

Take a breath, or your heart shrinks. You emotionally withdraw, and develop negative emotional reactions. Keep the Sabbath, keep peace and rest. Pace becomes an issue in every growing church. Regular quiet time with the Lord, not for a talk.

  • Review the vision and values that drive the ministry

Patiently apply and remind everyone what matters most. Let others hold you accountable to them. Welcome that. We have to focus on the WHY before the WHAT. You want people to know the WHY, the WHAT can change.

  • Protect an environment where personal Growth is the focus.

When people complain, we have to guard against that. Healthy bodies eliminate. If not, we get sick. There are people who were with us but they are not meant to be with us on the next tread. Unless they develop, they will cause drag. Are they still advancing and growing? We all came into ministry with the ‘I will do whatever it takes’ mindset, ‘I’ll clean toilets, I will do it as long as God wants then go and do something else.’ Where does that go?

  • Now methods and tools for ministry

Get better, without perfection. Excellence is not perfection. We do the best we can regardless of who or how many is in the room, because we know GOD is in the room and we do it for him. How will we measure our success? It’s not unspiritual to measure our work, one day we will be held to account for it

  • Strive for expanded personal capacity and learn to think bigger.

Where have you stopped growing? Remember, feedback is your friend. Ask people who are not yet believers who come along to help you get better. Big thinking won’t take you anywhere without doable steps. Have you ever said ‘If we only had more money/ people I would do this…’ If you think like that, you’re not energizing your possibilities.

Delivery systems, scalable structure and personal and corporate schedules need to be adapted – every time we grow. When you grow, meet and ask ‘what’s changed and how do we have to change now?’

  • Diligently protect your values.

Our thinking must change about the past, to get ready for the future. Face fears, insecurities, leave them on the tread, to step up to the next level.