August 7, 2017 is the day I decided to follow my passion – here’s my story…
For quite some time, I had been asking myself “why I am I doing what I am doing?” I had been serving in pastoral ministry for nearly 3 decades and it had been very fulfilling. I’ve always enjoyed helping people find a relationship with Jesus Christ and watching them grow in that relationship. I had been a student of church growth and church health and fully enjoyed helping the churches that I served grow and develop, take risks and see rewards, and follow God’s leading into new experiences of what it means to be a church that is relevant to today’s culture.
But, all the while, I had a sense that God was asking something different of me for the future. Throughout my ministry, I had always been involved in developing leaders within the church – both churches that I pastored, and other churches through teaching, speaking, and training. For sometime now, I have had a growing sense of the urgency for the development of leaders. Then, on June 5, 2016, I posted an article on identifying what makes you sing. In that post, I stated the following…
“What makes me sing is helping someone to live up to their God-given potential – whether it is someone stepping across the line of faith and giving their lives to Christ, or someone who learns a new principle or teaching that opens up the door of potential in their lives. Adding value to others and helping them achieve success in their lives is a very fulfilling experience.”
I, then, applied that statement to four areas of my life: (1) Martial arts – helping that under-performing student discover and live up to their full potential; (2) Pastor – helping someone discover how God created them for a relationship with Him and for a purpose in this world. As they discover that purpose in this world, they begin to live up to their full potential; (3) Coach – helping a church and its leaders discover how they can change a few simple things about their organizational systems and get great results in living up to their full potential in God’s Kingdom; and (4) Business – helping a business owner or manager discover a few simple changes that make all the difference in how they relate to their customers and employees. Then, the business begins to find it full potential in the community.
What I didn’t realize as I wrote that blog post was the dramatic change I would be making in my life in the next year. A few months after that post, I became an Independent Certified, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker with The John Maxwell Team. My original plan was to expand my leadership development training within our church and my other circles of influence. Then, in March of 2017, following a 3-day training in Orlando, I returned home and my wife and I made a major, life-changing decision. That decision was to resign as a pastor and go into leadership development full-time. That meant leaving behind friendships and a church family that we dearly loved. It meant taking a risk for greater reward. It meant following my passion.
So, on August 7, 2017, we packed up the moving van and relocated to Middletown, PA, just outside of Harrisburg. My wife is beginning a teaching position at a local school and I am writing from my office in our new home. I am now following my passion as a leadership development coach, speaker, and trainer. (Now you understand my lack of posts during this transition time.) I am excited and challenged by the great need for leadership development both in the lives of individuals and organizations, and in the lives of pastors and churches. I still have a heart for serving in ministry and I am passionate about serving God and the church in this greater capacity.
That’s MY story. What’s yours? You see, we all have something about which we are passionate. It might not be what we are doing right now. It might be something totally different and in a different location, but we all have a story. What are YOU passionate about? What makes YOU sing? Once you find it, follow it and give yourself to it. You might just be surprised by where it leads you!