What sort of legacy do you want to leave?

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!



For what purpose do you want to expand your influence?

tattoo_i__m_getting___he_is_greater_than_i__by_lovely735-d5nxhq1Who doesn't want to be great? In fact it seems to be at the very core of our human experience. Ever since Adam and Eve wanted to to know more, to be more, humans have been plagued by this pursuit. It seems that when I am on line and in meetings among my peers, the conversation always comes back to this topic. While there are a million ways to couch it in spiritual terms, the bottom line is that all of us desire to be more than we are. We want to be great, we want to increase our platform, we desire recognition. And thankfully, Jesus already knows this to be our core desire and even has some generous words for his disciples, and for us. Check it out:

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10: 35-45

As we strive to do excellent ministry, to reach the lost, to care for the broken hearted, to contextualize the gospel for the next generation, may we not lose sight of our true standing. For if we truly want to be great, then we must become a slave of all. Jesus who was great and deserved the largest platform, gave it up and took the form of a servant. Maybe there is something to be learned there.

May we continue to check our desire for greatness with modeling the attitude and actions our savior by placing that energy into serving our students and parents, pouring out our lives so that some may come to know Him.