Friday, July 9, 2010

More Summer Reading

So, I'm not a tall guy.  That goes without saying.  I also look younger than I really am.    This is difficult, because I'm pretty young to start with.  Often, when people find out I'm a pastor they have a look of shock.  It is as if they are about to ask me if I have my parent's permission.  I usually respond with, "Yeah, they come smaller now" or "I'm the Doogie Houser of Pastors."  After which, I try to make some comment that makes me sound older.  I reference a Led Zeppelin song or call a 32 year old "really young."  This sometimes keeps them guessing long enough for me to get away before they ask how old I really am.

The reality is that I am a reasonably young pastor.  I started pastoring full time at the age of 27.  I work with volunteers that are old enough to be my granddad.  It is a unique position to be in, one that I don't take lightly.  I am blessed to work with a lot of gracious men and women who "do not despise my youth."  I am in a job where I am continually being developed, encouraged and mentored by people of all ages.  It is a great experience!  I love my job!

Sometimes young men and women ask me about calling, gifts, leadership, career, etc.  They want to know next steps to prepare for their career or ministry.  I thought I would recommend a book that really helped me get ready to pastor.  The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley helps young men and women identify strengths and begin arranging their lives as best as possible to lead in those areas.  The book helped me lead better in our young adult ministry, preparing me for future ministry as a pastor.

By the way, as Andy Stanley mentions in another book, vision is often about being ready, even before there is opportunity.  One thing that I can say to other young leaders with vision is to be ready.  Generally, the path to opportunity is not a strait line.  I spent a lot of time digging ditches, delivering furniture, answering phones, and scrubbing toilets (and also barely scraping by financially) before God opened the door for my dream job.  At times, books like this one even seemed annoying, because a lot of the information was stored away.  Getting prepared for my ministry career helped me get through the times when it seemed so far away.

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