Closing 2019 and Leading With A Limp





We are about to close the book on 2019. Can you believe it? On the even years we typically stay home, but we leave Buffalo on odd years over the Christmas break to drive the 750 miles to see family in the Carolinas. It's a very long trip, and we typically drive it through the night in order to keep our kids asleep for a good portion of it. Some years the travel is more difficult than others. Bad weather, or vehicle troubles can change the whole dynamic of the trip. Still, without fail, mile after mile ticks off the odometer, and by morning we are seeing the sunrise over the Blue Ridge mountains. We are going to make it! I suppose seeing the years change on the calendar has a similar effect.

I've just finished Leading With a Limp by Dan Alexander. In it, he talks about the Biblical life of Jacob, and how he limped his entire life after wrestling with God. Alexander encourages his readers that is is healthy, and even God honoring, to use the vulnerable things that make us limp as leaders, rather than masking them or pretending that the flaws don't exist. For me, 2019 marks twenty yrs in Christian Ministry. In 1999, I was asked to serve as an assistant youth director for military brats (their term, not mine) on the Little Creek Navy Base in Virginia Beach. That seems like it was really a lifetime ago! Students from that youth group now have well established families and decorated military careers of their own.    

Since those early days, I have made many significant mistakes along the way in ministry. However, a reoccurring theme and therefore leadership limp in my life is to isolate myself and assume I can "do it better" alone. Then, when I become overworked and exhausted I try to blame everyone else for not carrying their weight. This contributed to the formula that cost me my job at a previous church, and is the recipe that knocks many pastors out of ministry all-together. I pray that I'm learning to lead from my limp. I can't do it alone. Dan Alexander says it this way: "Weakness. Don't lead without it."

I was encouraged by an office visit from one of our members, who just went on and on about Bryan Long, and Mario Delgado, our Associate Pastors at Randall Church. This person talked about the great value our church has in stock by having an interdependent leadership team, carrying and sharing the load of preaching, teaching, shepherding, and equipping the saints for ministry. I need you to know that these Godly men keep me in spiritual alignment. My own leadership flaw(s)are not masked, but actually pretty obvious. And, by God's grace, these ministry ninjas not only fill the gaps, but excel in their own development as well. To God be the glory! Mario... Bryan... with my whole heart, I thank you.  

Friends, as we close 2019 together, we remind you that we cannot do ministry alone financially either. At this point in our annual budget, we have spent $248k of the planned $250k in spending. However, our YTD offerings are only at $225k. This is not terribly uncommon from previous years, as many people use December to catch up on their giving for the year. So, won't you consider donating a year end gift online at give.randallchurch.org to help us close the $25,000 gap? Then, let us limp into the new year together! His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
 
- Pastor Milo
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