christian | husband | pastor | father
I love to pastor people + teach the Bible + create things with my friends.
Relight / Restore / Recommit
CUP OF LEADERSHIP
if you are uncertain of how to handle a situation or a problem or an awkward conversation, use my never fails 1 step method. use the law of non-crazy healthy human behavior.
STEP1 - decide what a healthy, mature adult would do in the situation that you are in.
STEP2 - do that.
STEP3 - repeat.
this will help your life and leadership more than you can imagine. often we can’t see clearly our own stuff because of experiences and emotions, but when we observe others it’s easy.
if you find yourself doing something w. one of these motivations // stop for a moment and be careful. all of these are good things in the right amount and time, but they are some of our most manipulatable places. our foolish choices often come from uncertainty or fury or desire // this is why social media feeds us these things constantly. go look at your feed. politicians + products incessantly cultivating our worst. and yes, sometimes churches do this too. we get better when we ask ‘why’ — why do they want me furious or anxious or aroused? the answer tends to push me towards a more rational + spirit-filled place.
pain is not evidence that you are weak or bad or sinning. pain is a message from you, to you, about how you are doing. so often we view pain the same way a bleary eyed parent sees their toddlers late nite crying: that is, something to make stop not something to understand. some of us dull pain through substance or project pain through anger towards others, which is often temporarily easier than dealing with it.
it hurts because something happened. in the same way that physical pain like a black eye or sprained ankle requires certain treatment to heal properly, so does emotional pain. if our only strategy is to stuff it down and wait it out, the pain often just gets worse. so if you are in pain, ask ‘why’ before ‘how to stop,’ it sends us down a healthier path.
my generation is allergic to obligation. we love to kinda commit and pseudo engage.
we like to leave our options open just in case jay-z calls.
so we change careers and avoid marriage and date 3 different churches, often to avoid being stuck. the problem is that today’s ‘i don’t want to’s’ are often death bed ‘i’m glad i did’s’
your favorite musician + the best mom you know would agree that they did a lot of saying no to ‘i don’t want to’ and yes to ‘i said i would.’ the stuff that lasts exists because someone did the thing they didn’t feel like doing. over and over. rome wasn’t built in a day, so if you want to do something that matters, accept that obligation is good when it protects what i really want.
a dear friend said this to me recently and it was so convicting. pastors know all too well that the loudest and crankiest get the lion’s share of attention. those who are steady and solid are often appreciated at a distance but forgotten when it comes time for verbal plaudits. the frustrating reality is that those a leader is trying to encourage into health or praise into progress are typically a cup w a hole in the bottom. they need constant refilling. the emotional camels on our teams or in our churches just need a little every once in a while, and it’s easy to forget to give them that. give low maintenance partners a little attention. don’t treat them as though they need nothing.
‘how’ is often a crippling question. it requires a level of clarity that often doesn’t exist. ‘by invading normandy’ or ‘a skinny guy whose name rhymes with ‘osama’ or ‘smaller rooms where people watch the pastor on screens’ are all answers to giant questions.
but notice that none of these answers were planned into existence, they were figured out along the way.
logic would say, no one else should start a band or write a book, there is already too many and no $ left to make. but someone will. and be wildly successful.
this means the only people who will try are the ones willing to start without a perfect road map. and the courage to say ‘why not?’
we have become so adept at the overly nuanced and the partial truths that we are lost with the real stuff. so familiar with political or theological partisanship that everything starts to appear negotiable. if everything is true-ish or kinda real or sorta right, than the empty tomb and blood stained cross lose their potency. not in reality of course, but in our experience, which is tragic.
i try to do brave stuff. invite people others would be afraid to, extend a hand even when it might get rejected, start projects where failure might be loud and obvious. i’m hardly churchill, but i have learned one important thing. identify worst case scenario. then embrace it. if she says no, you will be embarrassed for a day, but if she says yes? if no one signs up and you lose that money? you can always make more. if you spend a year planning a revival and then it rains, the disaster will become legendary (aka #almpalooza2018) — the unknown is so scary. so predict worst case and embrace it. then go do something brave.
we aren’t better than those who came before. we have more justice (in some ways) and we may have more knowledge (that we can access, not that we have memorized), but would anyone under 35 truly suggest we are more patient or kind or loving or gracious than those who came before 50 or 500 years ago? in our generation, people routinely create problems previously solved in medicine and in theology, simply because they are too self absorbed to learn. (i.e. let’s bring back polio)