A few days ago, I got together with a good friend and leader for dinner to discuss life and God and throw a few sarcastic comments toward each other and some of our friends, basically talking behind their backs. No, I’m just kidding. We usually have a certain place where we go for dinner or breakfast, whichever option is open to us schedule-wise, and we just have a good old chat! And that usual awesome place of a restaurant is…IHOP!
Yay!! Ok, not that surprising or unique, but hey! They have some good pancakes, and breakfast is THE BEST MEAL OF THE DAY!
Anyway, we’ve been pretty good friends for a few years, and it’s incredible how this dude has changed my life for the better! Not only my life, but also the lives of some of the guys and girls in my Connect Group! If you ever meet him, you already know off the bat that he has these unique leadership qualities — like, you can literally see it on his face.
(Yes, Seth, I could see it even from the first time we met, and you can ask the other guys too, and they’ll say the same thing! Don’t deny it! Haha.)
We first met during my college Bible study, Renovate, where he was a leader. For about a year, I noticed he would help out however he could, without any complaint. He and I had never actually spoken to each other within that year; we would just see each other, and that was about it!
Then one day I asked some friends, a married couple and assistant pastors for Renovate, who that person was. They introduced me to this introverted, hardworking leader, and thus started a great friendship! He was actually the person who invited me to my current small group, one of THE best decisions I could have ever made in my life!
My first time in the group, Seth had just gotten off work, and he was chilling in his uniform. He works in the military, so the standard military uniform did kind of catch me off-guard. He’d mentioned it when we met, but that night I’d totally forgotten for some odd reason.
Intimidation did set in for like two seconds, but then it went away. From the get-go, when we were eating prior to actually getting into the Word, he’d genuinely ask how my day had gone and be sarcastic to a few people in the group, so I knew I would like this dude. Sarcasm is like my second language, just FYI. Then after eating and hanging out, we’d go into the main event, the Bible study.
We talked about the message from Renovate, and I was expecting a standard question-and-answer, “do you understand this and that,” give a Christianese answer, then go from there!
But NOPE! I was totally wrong! Seth would instead ask questions from a different perspective, more practical I guess you can say. It was very different from what I was used to, that’s for sure! This grabbed my attention so much, and I loved it! Two other things that I know I loved was that he was big on memorization of Scripture and one-on-one discipleship. All of those things have stuck in my life, even to this day!
Jump back to a few days ago when we were enjoying our usual chit-chat, asking each other what book of the Bible we were in and what God was showing us in our own personal Bible study. Gah! It was so good, hearing what he was picking up and learning from his own studies while I shared what I was learning in the book of Nehemiah. From there, we shared what God was doing in our personal lives.
He already knows about my past, and he took it very well when I told him years ago. So, I started sharing about Your Other Brothers and my goal in telling my story to people I don’t know and probably will never meet in person. You could tell he was very proud of me (and he did tell me so). That I was doing something I was passionate about even though I once thought of the past as horrible, now using it for good to help others!
Having someone who can challenge you to be a better Christian, challenge your thinking, ask why you see Scripture that way and how you’re gonna use the Scripture you’re studying in a practical way is very incredible!
This guy, this leader didn’t care about my past, because he saw my potential to become a better Christian, a godly man.
The reason we recently met up at IHOP and had an awesome breakfast-for-dinner night was that I’d learned he was moving away. That was probably the last time I might see him, so I wanted to take that time to see how he was doing and tell him how I was doing, too. It was an incredible night of talking and fellowshipping!
He paid the bill, and we both went to our vehicles. Hugged it out, then went our separate ways…
Do you have someone you look up to as a leader? If not, what do you look for in a leader? Do you see yourself as a leader or one day being a leader for someone else?
* Photo courtesy zengei, Creative Commons.