A New Journey

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Photo Credit: thotprovokr via Compfight cc

Like the sighting of Halley’s Comet, this update has been a long time in coming. Nearly four months ago I told you about three words that would forever change my life, and the life of my family. Since that time much has happened. And while I’ve thought often to share aloud, I never could seem to form the words.

Suffice it to say over these past few months, life has continued forward; sometimes quick and easy and other times not so much. Had you asked me at the time of resigning my pastoral ministry what I thought I’d be doing next, I in no way would have come up with a story anywhere close to what’s actually happened.

I resigned February 5. My final Sunday at the church was April 7. May 6 I started a new job at our local coffee shop. At the time I knew this new opportunity wouldn’t be enough to pay the bills, yet it seemed right. From the moment I stepped around to the other side of the counter as a new employee, I knew this opportunity was God inspired. Functionally speaking I now had a job again. Beyond that however, I knew God was and is allowing me an opportunity where I can be in the thick of community. Then on June 10 I became the newest team member of the Brethren Church National Office staff, accepting a part-time position as Leadership Development Coordinator.

Without sounding too dramatic, this was the “thing” that I had resigned for; although at the time we weren’t even aware such an opportunity existed. I can only scratch the surface of imagining what our daily lives must look like to a God who is omniscient. All that we were unable to see in the moment of our current life situation, He’d already seen. He was leading us, and we were doing our level best to follow.

I remember when I accepted the position with the Brethren Office, thinking to myself, “this isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of a new journey.” It would have been easy for me to have considered all that we’d gone through, in a few short months, to get to this point, and to have considered ourselves finally having arrived. But we knew, my wife and I, that this was where the real work starts. This is where the story turns a page. And very much like the moment I resigned, or accepted the job at the coffee shop, I don’t have but the smallest glimpse of what will come next. However, I continue to remain resolute in the truth that I don’t have to know, because I have put my full stock in the God who’s already seen it all. He knows what’s to come, and that’s good enough for me.

So as we continue pressing forward into the future God is scripting for us, I leave you with an anthem of sorts…


Review: Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads

Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads
Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads by Mark Riddle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite what appeared to be a few minor edit oversights, the book achieved it’s purpose; to point out and address the problem of leaders assuming roles and tasks of leadership that aren’t their’s to assume. The beauty of this book is that it’s a fast food read of a book that delivers gourmet quality content.

This would make a great training tool for various leadership groups, and in an assortment of contexts. While the focus is on a pastor-leader, the principles would easily jump to other contexts and arenas of leadership.

Readable in a day, processable over a life time, that’s Redeeming Leadership.

View all my reviews

The Mark of a Leader

Have you heard of the show Whale Wars, on Animal Planet?  I just discovered it today while surfing through my OnDemand.  The basic premise of the show is a small group of environmental activist attempt to distract and disrupt the “illegal” whaling operations near Antarticia.

While I don’t intend to discuss the finer points of whale hunting, I do intend to comment on a particular point of failed leadership on behalf of Captain Paul Watson, failed in my opinion anyhow.  The decision was made by Capt. P.W. to further disrupt the whaling efforts by having two members of his crew non-violently board the whaling boat.  The idea is that while distracted by the men, the boat would not be focused on hunting.  As it was portrayed for the episode, Capt. P.W. had not previously informed his crew of the plan; rather had decided to unveil the plan and ask for volunteers hours before setting the plan into motion.  When no willing volunteers came forward, Capt. P.W. goaded one of the crew members into volunteering for the mission as some type of absolution for the young man’s guilt of earlier damaging the crews helicopter.  As Capt. P.W. recounts this exchange for the cameras, he makes light of the situation, casting it off as a sort of joke.

I was surprised, saddened and ultimately upset that while Capt. P.W. touted his grand plan, he never once volunteered for it himself, despite some on his crew making the suggestion he should.  Truth be told, this grand plan went little further than having two volunteers board the boat.  Only with the assistance of other crew members was more of a strategy put into place.  I have not been able to watch far enough ahead to know the outcome of the two men who eventually “volunteered” to board the boat.  I’m not sure if I can or will continue to watch this program as I find myself doing a bit too much talking at the screen.

What I do know is, I was always taught the mark of a real leader is to lead.  Anyone can bark orders, but I believe it takes a real person of character to lead by example.