Leadership Journey

You Aren’t the Mission

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A few weeks ago I was talking to a mentor who reads one book every two weeks. He mentioned something about having started a book several time but never getting into it, and I got curious. “Why not just move on to the next one” I asked. His answer? He said he was a little OCD about reading books.

As I pondered his response, I realized s omething about myself: I am a little ADD when it comes to reading books. I have probably 20 books I have started the past two years, but very few finished books (7 for the year, just short of my January goal of 24).

But occasionally, I find a book I really enjoy. Recently, it’s been Carey Nieuwhof’s new book: Didn’t See It Coming. As I was pushing myself yesterday to finish the book so I could put it on my list, I came across this quote:

“You aren’t the mission. Your job is to point people to the mission–a mission worth spending a major chunk of their lives working toward.” – Carey Nieuwhof, Didn’t See It Coming

As my leadership influence grows, I have faced a temptation to confuse the mission. I am not the mission. I point people to the mission. And as a Christian, the mission undoubtedly deserves my life.

My goal in raising up students who understand servant leadership is not so they will go off and talk about how great I am (which most of them certainly won’t), but that they will go off and serve God through servant leadership.

My goal in equipping and empowering adult volunteers is not so they will follow me, but so they will embrace servant leadership and make an impact in the lives of students around them.

I am not the mission. My success is not the mission. And the same is true for you.

Take some time today, either a quick moment or an elongated moment, and re-center yourself. Ask yourself: what is my mission? Have I taken the focus off what it should be, or am I still focusing on what I should?

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