Needless to say, this was not one of my stronger qualities when I was a young buck in ministry. But for some reason Cobb believed that I could grow – or else he prolly would have put so much time into me. When he brought me on to staff at the church I was your typical punk coming right out of high school. I knew everything about everything and no one could tell me differently.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Humility in the making...
“It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it and appropriately act on it.”
For lack of a better way to say it, I was a straight up busta' a lot if not most of the time. Looking back I am lucky that Cobb or anyone would have given me a chance to make something of myself. I mean, I would sit in meetings with the “big staff” and not pay attention or give the vibe that my time was being wasted. Just your ordinary uncalled-for crappy attitude. And I don't know why I was like this. I really did care about students and ministry as a whole, I just had tunnel vision in the sense that I could do ministry better than anyone and everyone else. It was like talking to a wall when you others on staff tried to give me advice or any words of critique.
But there was something about Cobb that was able to penetrate my stupidity. He chose to take on a guy like me because he saw something that others did not want to deal with. I am sure that if he let me go then I would be in a much different place than the direction he helped me to go. Yeah, I messed up a lot but he was always there to take the fall for me. And he never complained or debased me. He was always about the “teaching moment” in all instances. And I would listen to him and only him. And I think that the only reason I did was the he always stuck his neck out for me. He always stood up for me. From the time I was in his high school group he would defend me and my character and heart's intentions. He knew me.
Cobb always gave me options. He never told me what to do. But he also let me know that the decisions that I made would carry consequences, good or bad. After some time I understood that there was a method to his madness. There was a reason for the things that he told me. He did not give me advice just to hear himself talk. Cobb knew ministry and he wanted to help me to miss the pitfalls and take the high road in as many cases as possible. Sometimes I listened, and those were the times that my life was easier – most of the time.
The more I listened to him the more I understood ministry. Cobb's wisdom and advice were always pointed toward ministry in the long haul. I further understood and learned that I knew little to nothing about ministry. It began to humble me and I saw the method to his madness. He wanted me to change lives not just now but forever. I began to apply his teachings and listened more than I would talk. I stopped trying to be smarter than him and waited to hear those teaching moments. I was being transformed through Cobb and his relationship with JC.
Today I listen to every word that Cobb has to say. I do not want to do ministry with my head in the sand. I know that he has always and still does have my best interest in mind. My point is that we need to listen to our mentors. The ones who take the bullets for us are the ones who care about who we are and can be in the future. Whoever is over you in a supervisory role has your best interest in mind. If you are thinking, “Not my supervisor, because...” then you have a couple of options. One is that you can suck it up and realize that you need to learn more and humble yourself. But if you are convinced that you are right about that person then you need to get out of that situation and find a church and a supervisor to mentor you in your quest towards ministry for the long haul.