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Adam, when are you going to…

It’s no secret that I’m involved in my community. It’s not an accident. It’s an entirely intentional choice.

Over the past few years I’ve made the choice to live out the words that I’ve been talking/writing about around the country for years, to live my daily life in an attempt to be Good News in the Neighborhood. Yes, I’m trying to practice what I preach… a crazy concept! To make that happen I’ve also (unpopularly) re-prioritized my time, putting my community first, saying no to things outside of my neighborhood so I can continually say yes to things in my neighborhood.

This isn’t something I’ve made up, it’s not a radical idea, it’s something I take as a direct learning from people I look up to, like Pastor Luis Ochoa in Ensenada.

“When are you going to start a church in Rolando?”

A number of people here in Rolando have asked me that question. And I get it pretty frequently from my church leadership friends who don’t see me out on the road as much anymore but see that I’m involved here in my community.

I don’t have plans to start a church, pure and simple.

But the more people ask me that question the more I go, “I dunno, maybe?” I mean I don’t want to. It’s not a secret desire. But my heart breaks knowing a ton of people in my neighborhood who openly say they used to go to church, miss it, but look around and don’t see nothing for them.

And, with a touch of nostalgia, I certainly adored working at churches. Back then, I never saw myself leaving life as a staff pastor until like 3 weeks before we moved our family to San Diego. Not only did I like it– I loved it. And I wasn’t bad at it. (My work/life balance was horribly out of whack, for which I’ll feel guilty of the rest of my life.)

So, yes… factually… I do miss being “Pastor Adam”. But no… factually… I don’t have plans to start a church in Rolando.

“When are you going to run for office?”

Over the past year I’ve been asked this on an increasing basis. As my role on the Rolando Community Council has started to deliver things for the neighborhood, more and more people are asking if/when I’m going to run for something.

And, truth be told, I did really consider a couple races in 2020, and have been kind of kicking myself for not putting my name in the hat.

Two primary things held me back. (And a whole litany of secondary things, led by a big fear of failure!)

  1. I’m not a member of a political party, don’t want to be. And while that’s not required, party membership is the fastest way to the ballot when it comes to raising money for a campaign. So while I think there are some elected roles I’d love I don’t know possible it’d be without people willing to write the checks.
  2. I already have a job I love. It’s kind of easy to say, “Oh, let me just run for office because it sounds like fun.” (And to me, that’s true. It does sound fun.) But when you think about actually winning and doing the job you might be elected to do… that sets off a whole chain of questions about the work I’m currently doing and loving that I don’t have answers to.

I’m the Poster Child for Liberal Arts Education

I have a lot of interests. And I know I have an aptitude where I can learn to do just about anything. My entire life that’s been a blessing and a curse.

When I meet people who have a very specific interest that consumes them entirely, I’m really quite jealous of that trait.

But I’m also really happy with who God has made me to be. I like that I’m just as happy in the garden as I am the board room. I am just at good as building a website as I am on stage giving a speech.

I like that my answer to these questions can honestly be… maybe.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

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