I think one of the coolest things about Friendship Church is that we are constantly trying to take the long-term view of things. Always asking the question, “How will this affect us 5, 10, 15 years from now?” This approach has saved us from making a lot of short-sited decisions that could have had significant, long-term repercussions. It has also enabled us to make hard decisions with short-term pain for long-term health.
This is exactly what we did when evaluating if it was a good thing and good time for my family and I to take a sabbatical. We are certainly not “burned out”, frustrated, or tired of leading Friendship. In fact, this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It’s an absolute joy to be able to watch decisions we made 3-5 years ago become reality and see all these people come to know Christ and so many of you take huge steps in your spiritual growth. In all transparency, this is the last time I would choose to go on sabbatical. I love leading the charge, being the visionary, teaching the Word, and watching lives change…but that is the short-term view of things.
The long-term view says, bigger things are yet to come, greater growth is just around the corner, and what we are experiencing now is just a sliver of the blessing God has for us. If I continue to lead the charge through this time, my batteries may not have enough left to lead an even bigger charge later, and that’s not acceptable. If our vision as a church is to “glorify God as an effective and influential church” then it’s leaders must make sure that they are doing the same with their lives. If staying and enjoying this Summer with my amazing church means that I won’t be as effective as possible when I’m needed most, then I’m being selfish.
I heard John Maxwell once give an incredible illustration, it went something like this. Nature gives us one of the best examples of shared leadership and the importance of down-time. When geese fly across country going South or back North they fly in a “V” formation, as I’m sure you’ve seen. This formation gives the flock incredible aerodynamics and allows them as a group to fly infinitely farther than they could individually. The formation allows for each goose to receive a certain amount of lift from the flapping of the wings of the goose directly in front of them. The lead goose takes the brunt of the wind for the group and his wings provide lift for the entire group, while the rest of the geese “honk” their encouragement to him to keep up the pace. When the goose in the lead becomes tired, another leader rotates to the front. This enables the entire group to continue moving forward while at the same time allowing the lead goose gets the much needed rest for the next length of the journey.
That is why my family and I are going on sabbatical. I want to be ready for the next phase of the journey of Friendship Church. I believe with all my heart that greater things are on their way, that God has more in store for us than any of us can even begin to think or imagine, and I want to be ready! In the short-term it will be painful to be away from you this Summer, but the long-term rewards will far outweigh short-term pain.
“No discipline (training) seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of peace and righteousness for those who are trained by it.” Heb 12:11
Wow, when I saw this title I almost lost my cookies! Then I read it more carefully and realized what the author was saying. Way too often the Bible is mistaught, specifically in this area of submission. Specifically, it’s taught that women are to be in submission to men as a whole.
This is not Biblically accurate or Scripturally sound, children are to submit to their Fathers (ie daughters to dad in this case) and wives are to be submissive to their husbands, but nowhere does the Bible teach general overarching submission of women to men. My wife is not to be submissive to ANY other man but me, and her submission should be reciprocated by me with love, honor, respect, consideration, and I should cherish her as I would a Ming Vase! My girls are not to allow ANY man but me to hold authority over them until the day I walk them down the aisle and “give them” to their husbands, and at that point my authority transfers to him.
Dr. Moore takes great care in both explaining the problem, then goes into great detail as to the disastrous results of this teaching. To all my Sisters in the faith, please read this article carefully, and be empowered to become the women God has called you to be!
As I was driving the other day in the car I heard a familiar refrain from my teenage years come across the airwaves. No, it wasn’t Bon Jovi or Huey Lewis crooning out some rock ballad, it was one of my favorite sports announcers poorly singing, “Turn out the lights the party’s over!”
Now, he was singing it as a close to a game that the home team had solidified with a winning basket, but my mind immediately connected a whole bunch of thoughts (minds tend to do that) and began to think about when I checked out of this life and entered into eternity. Not in a morbid, brooding, foreboding way, but more of a I wonder what that will be like? My mind then shifted to those I would leave behind, and I began to wonder what they might say or think about me. Will they miss me? Will they say I was a good man, a great man…just a man? Then I realized that at that point not only would it not matter to me what they thought, but even if it did there wasn’t anything I could do to change it. This next thought is what really made my mind come alive,
“What if I lived my life in reverse? Start with what I want people to think about me, remember me for, and miss me for; and then live in such a way to achieve that end result!”
In other words, if you want people to remember you as a great husband/wife, start doing things that will make you a great husband/wife. If you want to be idolized as the dad of all dads or mom of all moms, you better start spending a whole lot more time with your kids. If you want to be remembered as a great spiritual mentor, you better start mentoring people…I think you get the picture.
The bottom line: Once the lights are out, the party is truly over. And whatever people think about you won’t change, but as long as the lights are on there’s still time!
Several weeks ago I parked my car for a few days over the weekend. When I went to start it, it sputtered and died. I tried several times to no avail. My father I law, who is a shade tree mechanic, listened to it and came to a similar conclusion I had made, I had water in the gas tank.
I immediately went to my favorite auto parts store (they smile when they see me coming) and purchased two bottles of dry gas. I put them in my engine confidently believing that I had conquered my problem. I had not.
So, I asked my buddy John, he’s an engineer for Cummins, we both looked at the car and listened. We plugged in a cool little computer that is supposed to tell you what’s wrong. It said I should replace my engine coolant sensor. So, for a second time I confidently strode to my seat anticipating my work would pay off…nope!
Now, I went to the Internet and searched my tail off. This lead me to replacing the fuel filter, no change. Then the air flow sensor, bupkiss!
I say all this to encourage you (I’m getting there be patient) just because your first few attempts at fixing a problem are fruitless don’t stop trying. A measure of a great person is not what it takes to knock them down but what it takes to keep them down. Maybe you’ve given up on trying, try again. What’s the worst that could happen? You could eliminate another thing that won’t fix the problem which means your closer to finding the solution.
Oh by the way, I’m pulling my catalytic converter tonight..fingers crossed!