Maintenance Mode

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58, KJV).

Which of the following best describes where you are as a believer these days? (1) I am living with a high sense of momentum, or (2) I have fallen into “maintenance mode.”

In the world of software development programmers use the term maintenance mode to refer to that time which a program is considered to be complete and further development is unnecessary.   There have been times I’ve found myself at this point, not because I consider myself complete, but because I’ve lost my energy, passion or vision.  While maintenance mode is a good thing for a computer program, it’s a dangerous thing for a leader or an organization.

When a believer hits maintenance mode he suffers from boredom, feels unchallenged, let’s opportunities pass him by, settles for good enough, speaks less frequently about the vision, no longer carries a passionate energy and worst of all he stops looking for God sized things to happen. If you stay there to long it has a negative impact on your organization.  Here are five common dangers when a believer gets stuck in maintenance mode

  • It breeds a spirit of complacency among other believers
  • It causes the organization to miss prime opportunities
  • It kills creativity and innovation
  • It causes others to settle for mediocrity
  • It reduces fresh movements from the hand of God
  • It brings growth to a halt

Questions to help you understand how you got where you are:

Is it a spiritual issue?

You may be stuck because you’re simply not hearing anything new from God.  He led you to the place you are currently serving and when you first arrived you had vision, momentum and inspiration.  What do you need to do to get a fresh word from God again?

Is it a physical issue?

If you’re tired, stressed and unable to sleep then your maintenance mode problem may be from a lack of eating right and exercise.  It’s difficult to build organizational momentum when you don’t have the physical energy to move things forward.  A lifestyle change rather than a diet is the best solution.

Is it a mental issue?

I was talking with a friend recently who told me, “I’ve gotten lazy mentally, I’m no longer on the cutting edge, I’m not reading, watching others, or learning.”  Mental laziness can lead to a lack of creativity and innovation.  Practice exposing your mind to something stimulating every week to keep your thinking sharp.

Is it an emotional issue?

Sometimes as believers we run so hard and fast that we get emotionally drained and it’s all we can do to maintain our baseline responsibilities.   Practice the weekly discipline of taking a day off.  This time of rest and recovery will keep you emotionally filled and fuel your creative energies.

Is it a relational issue?

There are times we allow others to drag us into maintenance mode.  Make sure you have people around you that challenge you, stretch your thinking and dream about future possibilities with you.  And on the flip side make sure you’re not spending too much time with people that drain you.

Adapted from a post by Mac Lake, Seacoast Church, 2010