I’ve spent time working as a tank commander, a corporate manager a business owner and an attorney at law. There have been successes and failures along the way. Through the wins and the losses, there were always gains in my personal development as those experiences shaped my character. The net result to date has brought me to this most recent assignment where I serve as the men’s pastor at a large suburban church. So far, this is the most challenging and it’s not for the reasons I might have suspected.
When I owned a business the measure was easy: it was profits and losses. In the military, it was mission accomplishment. In the practice of law, were the client’s interests represented for the best possible outcome. There was a start and a stop from which a measurement could be taken. That measurement reflected on my performance and I had either done a good job or not. The analysis was relatively simple. With spiritual leadership, not so much.
When things are go poorly, I still need to evaluate my effort, plans, communication and execution. If I can improve in an area, then it’s obviously still an opportunity. That’s actually not hard to accept. It’s when things go well that there is a task unique to this calling which is always important and sometimes elusive.
When things go well, people know God differently. They experience Him and they are changed. Their encounter results in transformation that impacts them personally, their families and the world around them. It impacts their grandchildren and they may not even have children yet.
When things go well, however, that impact is through a spiritual encounter. The Spirit of God is invisible but I’m not. The trap is in the offering or acceptance of credit as the visible facilitator of an invisible encounter. It’s in the slight thoughts or practices that might want to try to manufacture the results. It’s thinking that I did it last time in some measure or can do it again to any degree.
It’s an honor to get to do this. When those times of impact come, there is nothing greater to watch than people’s lives change right before your eyes. I’m thankful for the chance to agree with Him in what He wants to do in people’s lives. I also embrace the fact that when it’s all said and done, the Kingdom of God does not need me. It’s simply an honor to serve the King.