I really don’t know where to begin with this chapter.
This one, out of every chapter I’ve read so far, impacted me the most.
It’s hard to give a good lead-in to this chapter, so I won’t try.
This is, as the title implies, all about community.
Sometimes men try to live in isolation. To be “strong” and live alone. This doesn’t work for godly men who want to be comfortable in their own skin. Why?
Because we’re not made for isolation. We’re made for community.
God exists in community–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Adam needed Eve.
Jesus chose 12 disciples to join Him.
The early church operated in complete community, and they had an impact on the whole world.
God gave gifts to ALL men, not just some, and nobody is without a gift.
As the body of Christ, we are meant to live in community.
This is true in churches, too–one pastor is not meant to shoulder the whole load. There should be a team of people around him/her–people to counsel, lead small groups, preach occasionally (and let me brag on my church for a second–we have all of these things and I think it’s really helped us to grow as a church!) and provide different ideas and opinions. If one person is spearheading the whole entire church, then some people are bound to disagree with his/her “style” and leave frustrated and/or upset.
Ultimately, people need other people.
And once we commit to that community, we discover our gifts and callings, says Mr. Hall. This may be the best quote of the chapter:
“It’s easy to be fantasize about being a leader until you are placed with others.”
One of the most important things is finding your “place.”
How many young men don’t dream of being the star quarterback on their football team, or scoring 40 points a game on their basketball team, or hitting lots of home runs on their baseball team? Who doesn’t watch an epic like Gladiator or Lord of the Rings and want to be a Maximus or an Aragorn? We all want to be the star.
But who wants to be Frodo?
Who wants to be that black guy played by Djimon Houndsou whose name I cannot remember?
Who wants to be Merry or Pippin?
They all play a key role.
I am reminded of this offseason in the NBA when Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh joined up in Miami. They got together to win. But the problem was, they were all superstars. They still are. But when three superstars come together, it’s not an easy fit. it takes time to gel together. They won some, lost some, and over a long period of time, they finally got their rhythm and they all know their place in the system. They free each other up to succeed, and it seems like one of the Big Three has a big game, while the other two do fairly well but don’t have as big of an impact. They had to discover their role.
So it is with us.
I remember being 17 and wanting to lead worship. When I finally led worship at age 19, I realized how unprepared I was, and how it would have been worse if I had started at 17! I needed time and experience serving on the worship team before I could step into the role of leadership.
Currently I’m discovering my calling as a pastor. I don’t yet know if it will be a senior pastor position or if I will do something on the side such as discipleship or men’s ministry. We’ll find out in due time. I’m keeping my options open–I don’t want to limit myself to one thing or bust because then I’d be set up for either disappointment (if it wasn’t as “high” of a role as I’d hoped) or stress (if it was more than I was anticipating.)
Men are called to live in community, and we’re all called to fulfill a role. True leaders can lead from anywhere on the team, says Dudley.
How about you? Where are you called to lead/serve? How are you seeking it out?
I encourage you to pray and seek the Lord about how you fit into the body of Christ. What ministries can you serve in? How can you serve the body?
With that, my Men in Their Own Skin blogs are concluded. If you’ve enjoyed them, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book at the library or to order one from Successful Christian Living Ministries (SLCM,) Dudley’s ministry.
Thanks for reading!