“Who Are You Anyway?” a year later


On May 27th 2008 I wrote the following here on my blog:

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.

Confession #2: I get wrapped up in being called a pastor.

Confession #3: I want to get more wrapped up in my identity as a daddy and husband than as “Pastor Adam.”

Flash forward to May 27th 2009, let’s check in. Since this is all about self-reflection I suppose I’m mostly looking at myself in the mirror and asking if I am happy with the progress.

Confession #1: Is my identity still wrapped up in being called a leader? The irony is that these days I’m just getting labeled as a different type of leader than I was a year ago. My attitude about it is a lot different. My experiences in the last year with YS has caused me to add a couple of words to that definition as well: A leader takes you where you don’t want to or don’t know how to go on your own. In my new life/role I don’t think I’ve ever once stood up “as the leader” and been the leader. Certainly, in my day-to-day life now no one is calling me a leader. And I think that’s helped me shift my identity a ton.

Confession #2: I get wrapped up in being called a pastor. I’m not wrapped up in anyone calling me a pastor. Not in the least. I have a hard time remembering the last time someone called me “Pastor Adam.” That phrase seems silly to me right now. It’s not that I’m any less qualified than I was 12 months ago, it’s that I don’t have that title slapped on me anymore and so people stopped referring to me by that. Ironically, I think I get to do nearly as much pastoral leadership/wise counsel as a non-pastor than I did as a pastor. Figure that one out.

Confession #3: I want to get more wrapped up in my identity as a daddy and husband than as “Pastor Adam.” There’s a sound that has to be emmited when you read that sentence. So read it again and then exhale loudly. That’s what I feel when I read that. Am I closer to that? Absolutely! Am I there yet? I think if you change that quotation from “Pastor Adam” to “Adam McLane” then I see I still have some work  to do. I still struggle with this one. I think I will always struggle with this one as there are competing realities that I just have to cope with. But I think there has been progress. I feel way more connected to my kids and to Kristen than 12 months ago. I look back at Fall 2005- Spring 2008 and feel a lot of regret and darkness over how things spun out of control. I’m thankful we’re headed in a much healthier direction today.

I guess I need to think about new confessions for 2009. Certainly, I have work to do. As a work in progress-type Christian I will always have work to do. But it feels good to look back on 12 months ago and see how far I’ve come. God’s grace, patience, and lovingkindness have been abundant in this past year. I pray that God continues to break me in the months to come. I pray He reveals to me more areas of my life I need to change… and even publicly confess.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.


  1. Brandon, haven’t heard of that story. I’d like to see that in court. Clearly there is some sort of neighbor issue going on. SD isn’t really like that. And with tens of thousands of small groups meeting all over the county… They have little to worry about.

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