Friday, March 09, 2007

To Those Who Have Come Before Us

Craig Groeschel, lead pastor of recently asked five "twenty-somethings" five important questions:
  • What do you think God wants to do through our church that I’m not seeing?
  • What are we doing that stopped working two years ago?
  • What should we be doing to reach people that we’re not?
  • Where have I lost effectiveness but those closest to me are afraid to tell me?
  • What vision do you have about ministry that no one will listen to?
As leaders, there are many opportunities for us to mentor the younger generations, but how often do we let them mentor us? I love the fact that Craig took time out to listen - something most leaders don't make time to do.

He also took time to honor those folks who had invested in to his life. You can read more about the questions he likes to ask those who have come before him here.

As I reflected on his post, I began to think about those people who have had a major impact on my life. Of course none of this would be possible without God. I am a different person today because of my relationship with Him. But it doesn't stop there. God created us to live in community with one another, or as we fondly call it at Meadow Heights - sharing life together. There have been lots of folks who have made a difference in my life, but I'm talking about those who have made a MAJOR impact:

John Howser
What can I say? John made an impact in my life the moment I met him. He taught me to love music and to love life, and for that I will always be thankful. We have always considered ourselves "soul mates" and we still love to share our thoughts on life (and a cup of coffee!). Life is good...and I hope to you as well!

John Patterson
While we only had the chance to spend about five years together, this other "John" taught me a lot about teaching others. His passion for students stemmed from his work in education and administration, and he took time out to share his knowledge with me. He's retired now, but I know the kids (and other faculty) still miss him.

Bryan Mills
Nope, not another John. I have no doubt in my mind that God totally arranged for Bryan and I to meet. There is also no doubt that I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Bryan. He spent countless hours answering my endless questions and helped lead me down an incredible path. Today I stand as a follower of Jesus because of those conversations, and I am so thankful to share in this new journey of ministry together.

My Family
Besides God, THE most important part of my life. I am so incredibly blessed to share life with my family!! I could write for days on the many experiences, joys, heartaches, worries, laughs, adventures and many, many more. To Melissa, Kayla, Seth and Emilee - thank you for loving me when I act like Jesus and more importantly, thank you for loving me when I don't. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!

My Mom
What list would be complete without your mom? But seriously, my mother is awesome!! She has always been an advocate for me, no matter what. She was strong in troubled times, shared a smile just when I needed it, and showed unconditional love. My life is a direct result of what she instilled in me, and I'm proud to call her my mom.

I know that this list is far from complete. There are so many I would like to give props to, but just like a good awards show, my time is limited and the music is playing. It's time to get off this stage. If you haven't put thought to those who have made a lasting impact in your life, why not? It's never to late to let someone know what they meant in your life, and you might be surprised at how much your thoughts will leave a mark on their life as well.

1 comment:

John said...

Michael......words like these are worth sooooo much more than any paycheck that I have ever received. Making a difference in a person's Life is what being a teacher is all about. Your success makes me very proud!