so i chillin with one of my boys from the old skool this morning and having a cup of coffee. it's been a while since we have spent some quality sit-down time so i was feeling good just to be there. he was telling me that he is at a point in his life where he does not know if he necessarily wants to do ministry as a vocation or as a lay minister. the cool thing is that no matter what h decides, he will be able to do. when we did ministry together some years ago he was one of the go-to guys. i could count on him to get stuff done. he had a good head on his shoulders and was great with the junior high boys.
you can tell a good leader by the way that they interact with others. i remember the poster in the front of my high school Latin class that our teacher had up. it said "If you think you are leading, look behind you. If no one is following, you are just taking a walk." i thought that was a great motivator. and this guy that i was chillin with this morning was and is a leader. when i would go into the room to see how his group time was coming along on a week day program his boys were always pushing his buttons and pushing the limits of his patience. but he loved those guys more than many peeps in their lives. he knew what it meant to do leadership and have influence.
and now that he is thinking about doing ministry as a vocation it makes my heart smile. he will do a great job is he decides to do so. however, if he decides that he wants to do the secular thing i know that he will be an influence to those in his field, as well as add to the leadership of the church. john maxwell says that the job of a leader is to add value to peeps every day. that is not a very hard thing to do. all you have to do is put others before yourself.
when you are looking to do ministry what does that look like to you? who are you putting into on a daily basis? is it the same group of peeps or does it change? it does not matter where you are, you can lead others. i read a great book called "Leading Up" (M. Useem) some years ago. it talked about how to be an influence to those in a position of leadership over you. and we all know that in some cases that is the only way we are going to be able to lead. we all like to say stuff starting with "well, if i was the boss..." and the truth is - we are not the boss. so how are you going to get your ideas and influence to move the ball the way you think it should go?
i know, it is frustrating. however, if you continue to be in positions of smaller influence you will eventually have your day. even if you are not ever the big cheese in a company or ministry, you have the opportunity to have influence given to you by that person in charge. and the cool thing about when you arrive here is that you have all the benefits with little or none of the risk. so, where are you serving and in what capacity? like my boy who is looking at ministry, i would encourage all of us to understand that with the position you have in your field, no matter how small, comes with some kind of voice. it is up to you to be the influencer.