Recently, God has been all up in my video about who I am. It’s crazy how easy I get my identity wrapped up in what other people think of me. I suppose being in a public position will do that to you.
One of the things that Bill Clinton was always accused of as President was that he based a lot of decisions on public opinion. As much as I disdained that style of leadership I recognize it as a legitimate way to handle yourself when all eyes are on you. “Just do what the majority wants and everything will be OK.”
But I don’t think that’s leadership.
Adam’s definition of what a leader is: A leader takes you where you don’t want to go on your own.
Not only do I want to be a leader that takes people where they don’t want to go on their own… I want to be the type of person who is lead by God in ways that I wouldn’t do on my own.
Confession #1: I’ve gotten wrapped up in being called a leader. I fall into the mistake of thinking people want to know what I think. Instead, a true leader defers to the ultimate source of wisdom, thinking, and counsel. The most appropriate thing I can do as a leader is point someone to ultimate truth found in the Bible. And I recognize that sometimes I do that and sometimes I depend on my own talent, experiences, and personal preferences. I used to be so good at saying, “This is what the Bible says: _______. And this is what I would do if I were in your position: ______________.” It seems that the more people want to recognize me as a “leader” the more I want to emphasize the latter instead of the former. The result is that I’m not always the best leader I can be. Ironic, eh?
Confession #2: I get wrapped up in being called a pastor. I’ve never been comfortable with that title. But as the year’s have gone by I’ve gotten much less diligent in blushing it off when people call me “Pastor Adam.” I don’t know if it’s that I’ve gotten comfortable with what God has done and others recognize that in me or if I just like being called a pastor? Now, it’s true. That is what/who I am. And I am not ashamed of the title. I am not ashamed of my position. And I am not ashamed of my church. It’s not about shame. I recognize that its a sign of respect for my position yet I’ve always been uncomfortable with being labeled any title. Since I entered full-time ministry I’ve always self-reflected and laughed at God’s slapping me… ME… with the title of pastor. Sure… since I was little… even before I was a Christian… I always knew I’d be in ministry. But I also know who I am. I am biblically qualified to be a pastor and yet I know who I am.
- Above reproach? As far as I know
- A one woman man? Heck yes!
- Temperate? I do my very best to not lose it
- Self-controlled? To the best of my knowledge
- Respectable? You tell me
- Hospitable? Check
- Able to teach? Check
- Not given to drunkenness? Been good on that one since early teens
- Not violent but gentle? By the grace of God
- Not quarrelsome? Not my thing
- Not a lover of money? How could I be?
- Manage his family well? Could always do better
- Not a recent convert? Check
- Good reputation? Let me know, OK?
Confession #3: I want to get more wrapped up in my identity as a daddy and husband than as “Pastor Adam.” Closing in on 6 years of working in churches full time and I know well why some denominations don’t let their pastors marry. The demands on the position are over-the-top hard to balance with a family. People think nothing of about calling me late at night or early in the morning to talk to me or ask me to do something. And I’m always tempted to work every day and most nights for youth group, small groups, meetings, and other stuff that lands on my schedule. I really don’t think this is biblical and I should be more disciplined about saying “Can we talk or do this tomorrow?” In the past 6 years we’ve had countless family meals interrupted, countless dates disrupted, dozens of movies put on pause, play time put on pause for other people so many times my kids hate it when I take a call, times with daddy missed for this and that. Spending quality time with other people’s kids while missing the same with my own. Honestly, I hardly ever noticed. But my wife and kids did. It’s tough being married with kids and being married with kids to a church. Only recently have I been doing some studying in the New Testament and I realized… “Wait a minute! These guys weren’t nearly as available as I am and God still thought they rocked as pastors and leaders.”
How about you? Who are you anyway?