This past year marked a milestone for me. It was crazy… I went to sleep a 20 something and woke up the next day 30 years old. I don’t know if anyone else had a hard time leaving their 20’s behind, but I did. It was as if I was leaving an era and entering the unknown. Some how being 30 just didn’t have the same appeal. I couldn’t quite put it into words but I knew I wasn’t quite comfortable with it. I needed time to process what was different and why I was so uncomfortable. However, after thinking it through, I’ve realized that my 20’s were a great place to learn many of life’s lessons and the best is still yet to come. Here’s why:
I’m 30 years old and I’m done…
sacrificing my family on the altar of ministry. I’ve been in ministry for going on 10 years now and for a good portion of that I ignored my family by doing the good work of the church. It’s not that serving people is unimportant but spending time with and leading my family is more important. In fact, Paul, an early church planter, mentoring the young pastor, Timothy, writes these words when talking about church leadership qualifications:
He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
1 Timothy 3:4-5 (NLT)
In my late 20’s, these words hit me square in the face. In order to be an effective leader in the church I must first be a loving and caring leader in the home; an impossible task if I wasn’t present.
letting fears dictate my life. For a good portion of my life anxiety and fear were a constant and driving force. There were many nights that I stayed awake worrying that something I said or did would destroy relationships around me. I let some of these fears keep me from branching out and trying new things. In a sense, fear kept me from being who God created me to be. Through counsel, prayer, and mentoring relationships, God has taught me to bring my worries to Him. Paul’s words to the church in Philippi are a great comfort and source of strength:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
It’s not that fear and anxiety aren’t still there but they don’t dictate my life anymore. Several years ago, even writing this blog would have been a daunting task, but today, here I am.
hogging leadership. Somewhere in my mid 20’s some very wise people taught me about leadership development. Up until that point, I had run a ministry where I was the sole worship leader on the platform. I am by no means where I want to be yet, but I know that I have no desire to be the only worship leader at my church. As leaders, we are called to replicate ourselves in every way. While serving at Shepherd’s Gate I developed a Worship Leaders Collective as a means of training and equipping those gifted to serve in this fashion. We have developed 7 worship leaders in the last three years and have no plans on stopping there. Also, In order to raise up worship leaders we have to give them their “reps”. This means making space on the platform for them to lead the congregation in song. To do this we must be willing to step away from the microphone and let those we have invested in hone their craft. If we refuse to turn over authority and responsibility, our ministries will die with us. If we are eager to mentor, train, equip, and empower others, what God does through them will be much greater than anything we could do on our own.
I can now say that I am excited to enter this strange new world where my back aches from picking up the hedge trimmer and I wake up feeling like I fought the bed and lost. Aches and pains aside, I know that God has great things in store for my family, church, and ministry.