When you pursue God’s purpose for your life, everything you do and say is calibrated in such a way that mature wisdom and sound judgement will guide your every action and interaction and decision. Leadership is not about personality, it’s about behavior. We believe they will know Him by what they see in me.
We are called to minister to young people and mentor those who are developing them. To help them engage, discern and make good choices as they walk out their destiny.
What does this consist of?
- Being biblically grounded so my council is based on the Word of God and not my opinion.
- Caring for them and not viewing it as a hassle or an obligation. It is a welcomed responsibility and an honor to serve them.
- Attempting to be available when a student would expect and show up when they would least expect it.
- Having discerning eyes and ears in every conversation with them.
- Being quick to listen and slow to speak that I may fully hear them
- Being quick to respond to their needs. Really quick. Surprise them with my response time and availability to them.
How do we accomplish this?
- By living a life with purpose and meaning
- By becoming a tool in God’s hand
- By suffering for Him, bearing my cross daily
- By receiving His gifting for my life
- By being willing to serve others without expectations of payback
Who am I the leader? It’s not about me. Ministry is about service to others. As leaders our gift is to the body of Christ, not for the body of Christ.
The consistency of my basic religious convictions throughout my life suggests that my calling to ministry was a refinement of preexisting religious attitudes. Like Timothy, the Apostolic faith has been something that I grew up in. My call to the ministry, came later in life rather than as a college choice. I have lived a successful corporate career and was blessed to take a sabbatical from corporate American to serve young people and those that lead them. The Lord allowed my passion to become my vocation. I bring a perspective that in some ways is unique to the conversation as I come from first, over 30 plus years of corporate leadership experience in Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial companies. I have an overlapping 20 plus years of Christian leadership in mega, small church and para-church environments. I have been blessed to be able to bring the corporate trainings, execution and experiences alongside the ministerial calling, theological trainings and experiences into a union of church ministry and administration.
Over this time period I have experienced a significant amount of the good, the bad and the ugly of leadership in Christian and in secular settings. I have witnessed visionary leadership of staff and volunteers and I have witnessed a lack of leadership that led to everyone not being on the same page. I seen goals achieved and exceeded and I’ve seen goals severely missed. I’ve seen the charismatic leaders, I’ve seen the quiet behind the scenes leader and I’ve seen the individualist leaders who are about themselves and not those they serve. I have seen the effect of operating out of passion and purpose. And the good that come from a focus on true servant leadership. Time has allowed me to see the good and bad of my own decisions. To be surrounded by mentors that helped “walk me off the ledge” in times of my challenge. And I have had the opportunity to mentor other leaders through their process.
I am most proud of the young people who I have had the honor of pouring into and pulling out the best of them. Providing biblical guidance as they walk this life journey. Teaching them who Jesus is and why He is so important to their future. Making His principles and precepts relevant and relational in their day-to-day situations. Being there for them when, not if, tough times come. Teaching them to think through the process rather than telling them what to do. So when they are faced with a decision and we are not there they can think through the process. Correctly applying Biblical principles to their decision process. And when they make wrong choices, helping them evaluate the consequences of the choices they have made.
The last 20 – 25 years I have been experiencing the results of the significant, ongoing mentoring relationships with young people who are now young adults and adults. God has blessed me to see how they approach situations using discernment and applying biblical principles to their thought process. I am truly humbled when the phone rings or I meet with one of them locally and we walk through a situation or scenario before they make a decision. As I listen to their maturity in evaluating the consequences of the decision they can make. Some who were like the sugar cane that shows no fruit for several years and then all of a sudden grows six feet in a matter of days. Lord, we thank you for the mind to keep planting and watering for it is you who give the increase. I am truly encouraged by this to keep interceding for this current younger generation. For they too one day will be the young adults calling back for “real talk”.
And to those who labor with me in the vineyard of urban youth ministry – “Stay upon the wall, don’t come down. We’ve got too much work to do, no time to turn around.”