Leadership doesn’t exempt you from God dealing with you heart.
I had this thought a few days ago while I was standing in the middle of what I affectionately call the “Pastors Pit”. This is the area where all the speakers, their entourage, their hosts, and the local chiefs sit (depending on the attitudes of the occupants, this area has been known to rapidly morph to become the Diva Den). I’m not against these areas. I think the seating areas serve a purpose and that when you’re shuffling speakers and groups in and out quickly, this is a brilliant idea.
It does have its drawback. Like being separated from the rest of the people. Some consider this a blessing, others consider this a drawback. I like sitting with all the people that just showed up with no responsibilities or demands placed on them. They don’t have a million things to think about. They just get to enjoy the atmosphere and more importantly, they get to focus on worshipping and hearing from Jesus.
Then there’s the attention or the “magnifying glass”. I don’t know how it happens, but just by being in this area people think you’re something special. I have a friend that always gets asked to sit in this area and it cracks me up when girls come from out of nowhere and ask him what he does and if he’s a pastor and they flirt with him. It’s hilarious and depressing at the same time (I call these girls “Title Chasers” the Church’s equivalent to “Gold Diggers”).
But there I was, sitting in the middle of these fantastic men and women who have sacrificed much to lead the people God has entrusted to them. I was sitting in the middle of a group of people that are being constantly judged for what they do and what they don’t do. I was sitting in the center of the most prolific and profound leaders in the entire room!
Then God started using a man to speak into my life. About my hurt and brokenness. About His restoration and growth. I knew that the Holy Spirit was doing something in my heart! It was wonderful! The majestic and powerful, yet gentle and challenging touch of God on the tender, broken, confused parts of my life. THEN, the preacher called for an altar call! He said, “God is no respecter of persons. Whether you’re a pastor or a leader or whatever, if God is doing something in your heart, I want you to respond.” #bullseye
As I struggled with moving out of the center of the row, amongst so many great leaders that I was proud to stand alongside of, I realized that no one else was going with me. I was going to do this alone. This was between Jesus, the guy Jesus was using, and me (and an entire room full of students that I was trying to serve). I faced all of the usual fears. “Are they going to judge me? Their going to immediately think I’m deep in sin. They aren’t going to respect me. They they they they.” I had to shut up thinking about “they” and start focusing on “Him”.
Altar calls aren’t weird. Don’t call them weird. They are beautiful. Altar calls are bold. They are courageous moments when people shed their fear of the people around them and step forward in faith that God is going to do something in their hearts and the hearts of those around them. THAT IS LEADERSHIP!
As I walked to the front to stand alongside hundreds of students getting changed and molded by God, I had this thought. “Leadership does not exempt you from altar calls.” I don’t care what everyone else thinks, there’s nothing as important as God doing something in your heart. Put the camera down, we don’t need a video recording as much as we need a healthy wholehearted video recorder. Grab someone to serve coffee; we will cover you (as good family should). If God is doing something in your life, don’t listen to the “they” in your mind; listen to the Father who loves you too much to leave you the same.