I could duplicate stories like these all day…
The Job Site
I was working construction (pausing here for those who know me to gasp or laugh or something). It was a high-pressure day and I was off with a coworker on an assignment with a deadline that just wasn’t getting done. It was Friday afternoon, I was leaving out of town, and the pressure just kept building. I was a failure at this, and knew it. I figured at that point the whole world knew it.
I had to swing by the other job site where my boss and Ricky were, to give the boss the bad news. Ricky and I usually worked together, but we’d been separated for a few days on different projects. I’ll never forget the way Ricky made me feel – it was as though we hadn’t seen each other in years. After hours and hours of devaluing myself in my head, his infectious smile and greeting made me feel like the king of the world.
It was a foretaste of heaven… where grace has the final word.
In a transparent moment in an online classroom filled with future and present church leaders I wrote this:
“If I could go back and do one thing over again in my 32 years of pastoring… I would be more ruthlessly intentional about leadership development. I would allow myself to be criticized more for neglecting some things in order to focus more on developing discipling leaders. As passionate as I am and was about preaching, and as passionate as some of you are, may I just say, preaching alone won’t come close to accomplishing this. Leadership development isn’t about lessons, outlines, or proclamation. It’s about duplication of your passion, knowledge, skillsets, and passion in the lives of others.”
In reply to that, I got a simple, but profoundly encouraging reply from a student in that class:
I hope you know that by teaching guys like me you ARE accomplishing leadership development. I doubt I will meet you here on earth, but someday I look forward to seeing you in glory! Thanks for everything, and may God richly bless you as you follow Him.
It was a foretaste of heaven… where grace has the final word. [click to continue…]