HABITS – These are actions that are engrained, that have become natural because of continued repetition. They are the things we do without thinking but accomplish with skill and precision.
EFFECTIVE – This word refers to the quality of our lives and our service. People can be Christians, deacons, preachers and elders in name and in title. But to be effective as disciples of Jesus, or effective as His ministers, elders or deacons, means that we produce fruit in our personal spiritual lives as well as our particular ministries. A person can wear a title without actually being effective.
Effective Christians Read and Obey God's Word
Effective Christians are effective because their lives are powered by the Word of God. They know what God says and that knowledge empowers them to make right choices in more consistent ways.
Effective Christians Have an Active Prayer Life
We cannot effectively experience the life of Christ unless we read about it in God's Word. God cannot effectively change, shape and mold our lives unless we share it with Him in prayer.
The habit of prayer is what keeps us tuned in to God and sensitive to the Spirit. Without the habit of prayer the noisy demands of the world and the impulses of our flesh are all we can ever hear. The effective Christian succeeds in keeping the faith and growing in faith because he stays in touch with the Spirit of God through prayer.
Effective Christians Set "Spiritual" Goals
Effective Christianity requires that we set personal spiritual goals and actively work towards them, making the necessary sacrifices to eventually reach them. So whether it is to be more faithful to services, or starting to help out in some way; a commitment to changing a bad habit for a good one, or doing a better job in what we have already been given to do.
Effective Christians Cultivate Talents of Others
Barnabas was one of those people in the Bible who so clearly demonstrated this habit, starting with Paul as a new convert and later continuing with Mark the young missionary.
Effective Christians realize early on that in order to stay effective they need to build up others in the body. Note that the body builds itself up. When I build you, I also build me. Effective Christians are easy to spot, they are the ones asking for volunteers.
Effective Christians Take Responsibility for Souls
They have the habit of putting what is good for souls first. This is why these brethren are so interested in saving souls, why they are good at it, why they work hard in evangelism and visitation: they know the value of a human soul.
Effective Christians Serve Others
Effective Christians have cultivated the character of Christ within themselves by cultivating His character of selfless service to others for their good, their advantage and their salvation. For effective Christians, service is not an inconvenience they must bear in order to avoid guilt. service is a way of life born out of love for Jesus.
Effective Christians Remain Focused on the Kingdom
Effective Christians have learned to keep the kingdom first and have not allowed the "cares" and the "desire for riches" overwhelm their spiritual lives. Effective Christians continue to increase their involvement, their love, their very lives in the affairs of the kingdom and decrease their involvement, their love and their lives in the world. Effective Christians know that the kingdom is forever, is reality, is life itself, and the world is temporary, is sinful and full of death. They know this and live accordingly.