Throughout Spring and the beginning of summer I have spent a lot of time thinking about leadership and maximizing the places of influence that God has placed me. I used to low talk my position as a youth worker, but over the past few years have been challenged to see a bigger picture. I have read a bunch of books on leadership and organizational health like, Deep and Wide, The Advantage, The Catalyst Leader, 1776, etc. And all of these, and these types of books have been inspiring. As I have been trying to live into the corporate CEO model of ministry I have realized that my focus has begun to drift. The things that stirred my heart when I first started in ministry and the individual lives of people in my ministry context got exchanged for buzzwords like influence, maximizing, platform, etc.
I do think there is a strong argument to be made that we are to continue to grow as leaders and strive to expand our influence and platform. But once the focus moves from Jesus and His kingdom to me and my whatever, I think we / I have missed it.
God, in His infinite grace has offered me a course correction by stumbling on one of the oldest and cheesiest Christian Songs of the late 80's. As I listened to this song, God reminded me of my calling. I am called to be a pastor, a shepherd. I am called to offer my life as a drink offering, poured out for the sake of others. My calling is to the weak, the marginalized, and specifically to those crazy, troubled, gifted, mixed up, and amazing students who are right smack in the middle of adolescence.
This call starts and ends in the local church. And, at least today, I am content that my blog, podcasts, book, platform has little play outside my mom and my close friends. I will gladly plant deep roots, serve these students, this church, and this community with little fanfare. And when Jesus does take me home, I long to have a legacy like Kentucky Rose!