n one of the first articles there was an interview with the original cast (still my all-time favorite). When they interviewed Chevy Chase, he had the following to say about writing.
This concept is in regard to the conversations we have in the communities and organizations we live in.
Perhaps it is a vision statement. Perhaps it is a life mission. Perhaps it an all-inclusive goal setting.
When one day I look back on my life, I want to know I left my footprints all over the lives and hearts of the people I interacted with along the way. I want those footprints to be evident in those who are lost, in my closest friends, and even the strangers I come across only for a moment in any given day. I want to have left my footprints all over the lives of people.
I do not want my footprints to be for my own recognition, but because my footprints prove I showed up. I want my footprints on the hearts and lives of people only because I came running when I saw God's activity in their lives. When I saw God's movement in different moments, I stepped in.
That is the influence and impact I want my life to leave. I want it to be unlike footprints in the sand and entirely like footprints in wet cement that dried before the imprint could be smoothed out.
I became a self-reliant leader over time, and in so doing, I was dependent upon limited resources. I had not really learned to rely on God and others.
The self-reliant leader is, first, not dependent upon the Holy Spirit. In his book Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning wrote, "How vast are the resources of His power open to us who believe in Him!" This self-reliant leader is not resembling the gospel of Jesus Christ which has said all of this vast power of God has been available to you to depend upon.
Secondly, the self-reliant leader relies on limited resources in his lack of dependence upon others. Self-reliant leaders lead in isolation from others, and pride is the reason for all our isolation. Often those who lead alone find an interesting resistance in their heart and lfie. Perhaps they blame it on Satan, but that resistance is not Satan; it is God. For "God resists the proud, and he lifts up the humble." (James 4:6)
Great leaders are not self-reliant. They learn to rely wholly on God and also on others for strength.
We most often are moving and going so frantically that God’s peace and blessing cannot land upon us.
If God’s peace descends like a dove, I am all but swatting it away with my hectic grasping after success as defined by the American
My priority is to be concentrated on Abba. His closeness is my ultimate good, and not my success as is demanded of me. I spend too much of my heart, mind, energy, and time comparing myself to others.
Abba, I need you. I need you to be close to my heart and mind. I need your peace if I can just sit still long enough that it might descend upon me.
My God, over and over again, I am reminded how woefully inadequate my prayer life truly is. I am ashamed of my lack of time and effort in prayer. I cannot imagine any excuse for a lack of prayer, and in return I cannot imagine any reason for me to wonder why ministry, family, leadership and other areas of my life seem to be without power, passion, life, progress, or growth. If I reap what I sow, I cannot be surprised when I sow little. If the condition of the church, family, and organization will take the shape of its leader's character and tone, I just cannot be surprised, nor can I place blame anywhere but my own lack of prayer and fervor for time with you. No matter how great my teaching and preaching can be, it is barren and empty without having received it fresh from you in prayer.
My God, I am woefully short on the very front of prayer where the power of preaching really lies. My God, I have to pursue you and intentionally pray that you may hear my heart for family, for students, and for ministry. My heart does break for them, but that brokenness has very rarely driven me to my knees for them.
O my God, I am brought low this morning at this realization. Thankful for your grace, I do not want to ride its coattails. I want to be with you more and receive from you the tone, character, desire, wisdom, and vision for the people I love.
Each year of ministry has come with its share of lessons learned. Currently, I am learning something with an impact for sustainable ministry into the future. Allow me to share this personal lesson in an address to other pastors and ministry leaders.
Never neglect the reality that you just might not be sent to this congregation to change them, but that perhaps God is using this congregation to change you.
Each leader has his inadequacies and weakness. Each ministry leader has her insecurities and doubts. Each pastor has his holes through which perfection leaks right out of grasp, and a congregation you engage with and truly shepherd will have an incredible knack for revealing those things.
This is not an attack, nor is it an especially intentional action of the congregation. This is the way of congregation. It is the way of koinonia. It is the way of the Holy Spirit doing his work in the life of a pastor and ministry leader called to this very place.
If you will allow, God will change you, ministry leader. He will do so with and through the people you thought you were here to fix, save, and change.
We are made in the imago dei. Every human being is made in the image of God. This means a great many things. Specifically, it does mean we are all connected. As God is 3 in 1, we are all connected in a great way. There is a solidarity to the image of God we are all connected within.
Think of this!
This means every interaction, no matter how passing or intentional, has an impact. Every smile, hug, and conversation has an impact. Every relationship, no matter how intimate or shallow, has an impact. You may never see a person again, but in that second your smile could impact the rest of their hour or day. It means even your small acquaintance has an impact.
Think of how crazy it is that you, a human being, have the capacity to impact another human being.
What impact will you have?
I was an RA at Anderson University, and I remember the chance to revisit the campus I worked. Upon the visit, I was able to hang out with the ragamuffins who lived on my floor. What a great time of fellowship! I have often said that fellowship is when the mighty descend and the lowly rise, but I also think fellowship happens when the lowly congregate. Anyway, it was wonderful to be with the men I lived close to for a year and see where their lives were then and now. My mind went back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine on campus. She said, "Ya know! They say the floor almost always becomes reflections of their RA." I thought to myself, "Oh no! That cannot happen. Nobody wants that. One P.C. is bad and crazy enough." Then I went back to visit them and realized how true that is of ANY LEADER on ANY LEVEL. If you are like me, you realize how ridiculously humbling it can be.
I went back to find freshmen and sophomores then sophomores and juniors who were IN LOVE WITH THE GOSPEL. I went back to see the craziest guys on campus then...still crazy...but almost each and every one of them filling some sort of leadership role. I saw several of them in raw honest accountability groups [ash trays included]. I saw a group of guys who pursued God with all their hearts. I got to see a group of guys in love with Jesus at the very core of their being but who are looked down upon as the "unorthodox" group.
My last day there, one of the guys came up to me before I left for the airport and said, "PC, I just went to an interview for [a large Christian summer camp], and the guy asked me, 'Who is one leader in your life you have respected the most and why,' and I said, 'PC Walker, my RA last year." He said it was because I lead in a way that built a relationship he respected, and then it was as though I stepped back to watch them grow.
I had no idea. I was just getting close to my guys and letting them get close to me...the real me.
No matter what level of leadership you are in...even if you do not think you are a leader (you ARE), WE ALL PASS A BIT OF OURSELVES ONTO OTHERS. That is the great inevitability of relationships. We all have INFLUENCE to give and receive, to pass on and take on. Its as easy as creating relationships.