Have you ever met someone who after speaking with them you say, “I know I’m a Christian and I know they are a Christian. But I’m nowhere near the Christian they are. In Heaven, we’re not even living in the same neighborhood!?” I had an experience like that this week.
Recently, I have had several conversations with a bi-vocational, African-American pastor. He planted a church about five years ago after retiring from a career as an Army chaplain. The church now runs about 150 in weekend attendance. On two occasions he said “Brian, I have to call you back as I’m at my job helping special needs kids.”
When we finally got a chance for an extended conversation I asked him to tell me about his work with special needs children. Here was his response:
“I work part-time at two different elementary schools helping with special needs children. Some have Tourette’s and others have Down Syndrome. There are a couple who have feeding tubes. But they are people and I love serving them. I also give the teachers a break from time-to-time. And it’s a joy to minister to their families when they drop off and pick up their children from school.”
He went on to add, “When we build our new building we will have a special needs wing where their parents will know they are cared for and simply get to focus on worshipping Jesus. Raising special needs children is 24-7 and we want to help in that area.”
I got off the phone and thanked God for leaders like this. I am not in this guy’s league.
A retired Army chaplain who faithfully served our country. A family man. A “part-time” pastor of 150 church members but with influence over countless others. A school employee serving special needs children and their families. And one of the kindest, gentlest spirits and love for God as anyone I’ve ever talked to.
Leadership is the composite picture of a desired destination. If that statement is true, we should all desire to be the Christian leader this man is.
Feel free to tell us about the type of leader you want to become.