I had the opportunity recently to chill with Cobb at a conference a million miles away from both our states. He was there with his volunteer and paid staff, and I was there to hang out him Cobb. He's been in his new church now for a few years and grooming leaders the same way he has always done. And there were a some peeps who were newer to ministry responsibilities and I could tell that he was working overtime to create a camaraderie and community among them. It was actually really fun to see the man who shaped my ministry skills and life do ministry, from the outside looking in. and I prayed a ton that each of them would come to know the love and respect that Cobb has for all of those who serve with him in ministry.
Some time into the conference we all went out to eat. It was like old times. However, a part of me was sad that Cobb and I are not only not doing ministry together right now, but that we are not even in the same part of the country. At the end of the meal we all piled into the van to go back to catch the last part of the day. He drove the van all the way up to the front of the conference building to let the peeps out, as he always does, and everyone got out. Except for me. You see, when you are dealing with a guy like Cobb there is little time for you to get around him when there are not a bunch of peeps around. So I found over the years that the best times I got to spend with him in these situations was to do the little stuff, like roll with him way out into the boonies of the parking lot and have a long walk back to the conference. But that was not the best part of this nite.
The best part was that when everyone got out there was one more person who stayed back to roll with Cobb. It was one of the leaders of his youth ministry, a guy that Cobb is putting tons of time into at the present. At first I was shocked, but then realized that it was very normal. You see, that is the way that Cobb does ministry. Every moment is intentional. This young guy was doing the same thing that I did for years, and for the same reason. Cobb's effectiveness is growing even now that he has more responsibility than he ever has had before.
That is what leaders do – they add value to others on a daily basis. Cobb has never been one who needed to take credit for anything. He has never wanted the glory. He has been working behind the scenes and putting into others, hoping and knowing that his time will pay spiritual and eternal dividends. Who are you adding value to this week? More importantly, who are you shadowing and learning from. It is the small moments, nuggets of time, that will make you into an indispensable leader.