Skip to main content

"who do you think you are?"

The other day I sat in a room for one hour with two women who I deeply admire and respect. And who sometimes intimidate me with their brilliance. Ahh, self-doubt, lack of confidence and fear are fun for a recovering perfectionist.

But these women are smart, they know things of faith that I've never experienced, they can put things into language that would take me an hour to figure out. And it would have been so easy to listen to the voices in my head that would tell me,

"Who do you think you are?"

"You're not enough."

"You're not qualified enough to be their pastor and leader."

And for a couple minutes, I listened to those voices and I believed them.

But around the moment that one woman was drawing out a theological concept on the board for the other woman, I realized the conversation in my head was stupid and untrue and silly. What if I look at them as God sees them?

Then I was overwhelmed with a thankfulness that I get to work with people like this. The kingdom of God is being welcomed in this place because these two women are on our team. I get to sit at their feet and learn from them. And they might pick up some insight and experience from me along the way. That's the body of Christ. There's no competition. There's no rank. We're in this together.

Whenever I let go of any desire to be the smartest person in the room, or the most spiritual, or the expert, it always gets better. Always.

By the way, the two women? One is my outgoing Director of Family Ministries who's off to Portland to serve her first church as a lead pastor this summer. The other woman is our new Director of Family Ministries. I cannot believe the people God is allowing me to serve with. Incredible talent and open spirits. Here we go!


Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

Why I stay in the United Methodist Church

We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
4. I am fascinated by our founder who's only intention was to create a renewal movement ins…