I believe that God's heart is for the local church to thrive. Specifically, I believe the local church is where the best leaders in a region will be developed. Yes, even greater than Geico's leadership development program, or UB's leadership accelerator program, I believe God will equip us, the local church, to raise up those whom he desires to lead and change the world for the sake of the Gospel. Many times, the basics of leadership have to do with facing your fear(s). This takes many forms and fashions, but I'd like to highlight one leadership development incubator you may not have considered: facing the fear of the local Nursing Home.

My mom used to organize a Bible study in "The Pines" nursing home in our town. She would recruit volunteers to lead hymns, give the devotional, and bring residents down to the chapel from their rooms. Our family was an integral part of her volunteer team, and we were often called upon to sing a "special music" piece, or play something from our piano lesson book as prelude music for those who came. Mom wasn't a musician, but my dad was, and he made certain that we would each be prepared for the opportunity given to us. I can't help but believe that this time was very formative for us. Even though we started out scared stiff at a very young age, the four of us kids eventually became comfortable singing or playing in front of a group, and were very well spoken when interacting with adults. I've found as many of you know that this isn't always the case with young people. 

Neither of my parents went to college, and because of our family farm we didn't travel very much. Yet surprisingly, all four kids have bachelors or masters degrees, and one sister has her doctorate degree. This is a spectacular feat for my parent's humble beginnings! I performed hundreds of gigs as a professional saxophonists in the Marine band, and I have a sister who is a literal, no joke, opera singer. Crazy huh? Now, it didn't come without bumps along the road. I personally passed out nearly half a dozen times because of stage fright in those days. Yet, those sweet people lovingly and kindly encouraged this shaky little voice to come back and give it a try again. When I did, it meant a lot to them, and it made all the difference to me. Today, I speak or sing in front of many people weekly, and my siblings all do the same. But it all had to start somewhere... 

At Randall Church, we are being intentional about leadership development in many facets. There are many opportunities to engage. Yet, perhaps this article would help you to consider facing one of your fears? Get involved with leading music, sharing a devotional, or simply helping people from their rooms for the Elderwood chapel services our people lead once a month. You won't regret it. Interested? We'd love to connect you!

Pastor Milo