Last week I attended a conference of sorts called “The Elephant Room.” An engaging and worthwhile experience, the day consisted of watching several prominent leaders from excellent churches discussing 8 issues debate style. The men that made up the group were: James MacDonald (host), Mark Driscoll (co-host), Matt Chandler, David Platt, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, and Greg Laurie. This group is diverse in their ministry style, no doubt, but very much unified in their beliefs.
The conference was awesome. End of story.
What really challenged my heart, however, was the aspirations that it subconsciously stirred. With the exceptions of MacDonald and Laurie, this group of guys are very young (relative, perhaps). For these gents to be in their early 30s and lead teams of people in the numbers they do… this is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, many of these guys were in their mid-twenties when they were experiencing the growth that launched their ministries into the spotlight. It should also be noted: Furtick looks like he’s 19. Just sayin.
So as I watched these men of God discuss the methods behind church life with ease and authority, I marveled; and dreamed. These are the type of men that I want to be. God blesses their ministries like I want to be blessed.
I certainly have a case of idealistic envy. As a young guy I begin to wonder how I might become like them. I think of the character I need to grow, the knowledge I must gain, the passages I have to be able to handle and memorize, the discernment I need. I see these traits in today’s upcoming leaders and I wonder: do I have those?
I guess at this stage of life this is called dreaming; vision. In 20 years, these same exact feelings are called a “mid-life crisis.” Add 20 more years after that and you have a classic case of “elderly depression.” You see, most people don’t become hugely successful in the world’s eyes. It’s not an excuse: men like Driscoll, Chandler, MacDonald… these guys are enormously gifted.
Is it wrong for a guy like me at 23 to want that gifting as well?
I wonder: how do I balance wanting to do great things for God with simultaneously being humbly content with how I have been made/gifted?