I spent some time visioning about youth ministry at Cornerstone with our Pastor of Connections, Josh, yesterday.  It was messy.  I was challenging.  It was good.

It looked a little like this.

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I put this picture on my computer desktop, so now everytime I open my computer I have to stop and think about–dream about– where this ministry is going, my place in this ministry, and how I can pull others alongside me in this journey.  And, that its okay to ask for help.

I have also started reading Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley.  I couldn’t even get through the introduction without being challenged in my understanding of leadership.  The weird thing is that I have never considered myself gifted as a leader.  Most of the time I find myself stepping up and being a leader because no one else will.  But, now I have a group of people that are following me, and I have to lead them somewhere…..that’s a lot.

I’m trying.  I’m learning.

The leadership essential that has hit me the hardest so far is courage.  I have never considered myself a courageous person.  For the most part, I am crippled by fear (at least I used to be that way).  Things are changing in my life, but fear is still something I face every day.  And, as a leader, my biggest fear is of failure–both in trying something and it going down the tubes and in missing out on something amazing God has in store.

These fears keep me from dreaming.  And, when I do let myself dream, I often write my dreams off as unattainable.  But, I am learning, that sometimes I just have to go for it, pick my fears up and take them with me for the ride.  And, if I fall on my face, I fall on my face.  But, at least you can’t say I didn’t try.

It’s my job to dream for this ministry.  To cast a clear vision and take people along with me.  It’s not my job to protect myself (or other people) or avoid risk.  It’s my job to stare risk down and move anyway.  I must be willing to challenge things as they are now for the sake of what they can be.

So, I leave you with this:

“Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage assumes fear….  Courage is the willingness to strap on your fear and move ahead.  The leader who refuses to move until the fear is gone will never move.  Consequently, he will never lead.  There is always uncertainty associated with the future.  Uncertainty presupposes risk.  Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk.  Without courage we will simply accumulate a collection of good ideas and regrets.  What could be and what should be will not be…at least not under our watch.” (Next Generation Leader, p.54-55)

“The leader who accomplishes great things will not always be the most talented or the best educated–it will be the leader who refuses to put brackets on his thinking.” (Next Generation Leader, p.74-75)

So, go dream!  Dream Big!  I will be dreaming, too.

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