Why There’s No "i" in Live

It was four years ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday…

Our new pastors, Brian and Shari Dolleman were in town to check out our church and get to know their potential new staff.

They were scheduled to attend some services, take part in some meet and greets and preach Sunday to finish the week.

Obviously my goal was to put my best foot forward.

I wanted to make sure they knew I was doing a great job as youth pastor and that I was irreplaceable.

I needed them to know that Live Youth Ministries was in good hands.

As Wednesday morning arrived I knew this was my time to shine.

I did everything in my power to ensure that they would see my greatness as a leader:

I arrived early and arranged chairs

I set up the stage with a special design

I made a new PowerPoint game in hopes of wowing them

I vacuumed the auditorium myself to make sure no spot was missed

I created a bulletin that featured a short bio complete with pictures of the Dolleman family

I wrote then rewrote my message so that it would showcase my amazing verbal skills

I made a customized playlist that had my favorite songs on it

I personally oversaw every element of the service to make sure everything reflected well on me

The result?

A fairly decent service in which there was a modest response to my invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Brian didn’t fall out of his chair in amazement at the incredible display of youth pastor ability he’d just witnessed.

As I look back at that week I’m not really all that proud.

In fact, I’m mostly embarrassed.

What was I thinking? Why weren’t others being included in leadership? Why did I feel like I was the only one who could do the job? Why was ministry all about me?

It was with the arrival of our new pastors, Brian and Shari that I realized something that I had known before, but for some reason never applied to my leadership.

The job of a pastor is not to do the work and be the all-star. The job of a pastor is to empower and equip others to do what God has called them to do.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4.11-12)

I remember a staff meeting we had early on when PB used that scripture and said that he wouldn’t be impressed with how much any of us could do on our own.

If we wanted to impress him we needed to show him how many people we could empower to serve the church in our areas of responsibility.

Four years later I find myself still trying to work myself out of a job.

Thanks PB and Shari for teaching me that there’s no “I” in Live.

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