LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

The Day I Had a Dream for My Future

Tomorrow feels like a significant day to me. Let me explain with a bit of history. In 1986, I was right out of high school and traveling around the country with a group called Life Action Ministries. I was 19-years old and had believed since I was 12 that God wanted me to give my life to full-time ministry. But in my limited exposure, I figured that meant I had to be a preacher, a youth pastor, a missionary or a guy who waves his arms and leads music. None of those excited me, but I didn't know there were any other options.

Then my team visited Tallowood Baptist Church—a large Southern Baptist Church in Houston. As the team manager, it was my responsibility to work with the church staff and coordinate the details of the team. I don't know his name—but I worked with an older gentleman who ran the operations and ministries of the church. He was called an "executive pastor" – a role I had never heard of before. My eyes were opened to new possibilities.

One afternoon I was sitting in the back of the auditorium at Tallowood talking to a friend when he asked, "What would your dream job be?" At that moment, this executive pastor was walking through, and I pointed at him and said, "That. If I could use my leadership gifts to help run a church like he is, that would be my dream job." Over the next few years I worked with dozens of large southern baptist churches, and learned more about the role of executive pastor.

It was 11 years from that day until my dream was actually realized--at which time I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Although I've been an executive pastor now for more than a decade—I still wake up every day (okay, not every day, but most days) grateful that I get to serve the Church in this way.

Fast forward to tomorrow. I feel totally humbled to be able to speak for a few minutes in New Orleans on Thursday to the executive pastors from the 50 largest Southern Baptist Churches in America. I can't imagine what I'll say to help them—but I think God gave me this opportunity to remind me of his hand on my life.

And maybe to remind you as well…especially young leaders: You may have a dream that seems impossible. But if you are faithful every day to do what God asks for that day—you might just find that God will eventually give you the desire of your heart.