It was meant to be a throwaway statement: an off-the-cuff anecdote to illustrate a larger topic.
It happened last week in a monthly meeting we host with some of our key volunteers. Honestly, I don’t even remember the “larger topic” right now. But I do remember the statement. And I do remember the impact it made on me when it was spoken.
My friend Jacob Wright was talking about his introduction to serving at the Summit. You need to know that Jacob is one of the finest leaders I’ve ever seen. He’s a guy we hand-picked to help launch our Blue Ridge Campus. Keep in mind that he’s a volunteer: he has a real job and a real family and a real life that doesn’t involve getting paid by the church. But he oozes guest services out of every pore. He gets what we do, and I can’t imagine doing what we do without him.
But it was this statement that made me realize how close we came to never having a Jacob Wright on our team:
“Had it not been for __________, I never would have stepped up to serve.”
I’ll get to the name in the blank a little later, because I don’t want to leave you with a cliffhanger. But for this illustration, the name isn’t necessarily important. What’s important is that someone challenged Jacob to serve. Someone made the ask. And without that someone, our church would have been worse off, because we wouldn’t have a quality leader like Jacob.
You have “Jacobs” on your team, too: men and women that you couldn’t imagine not being a part of your ministry. People whom you depend on weekly. Folks that serve so seamlessly, you can never really remember a time when they weren’t around.
But don’t take for granted those names in the blank. Don’t forget that for every “Jacob,” there’s someone who made the ask. Someone who offered a challenge. Someone who said, “Hey, you’d be good at this and you should give it a shot.”
Yes, your team needs doers. But your team wouldn’t exist without askers.
Who can you look back on in your life who made that ask? Who do you think about and say, “If it hadn’t been for _____, I never would be doing what I’m doing right now?” Maybe you should take a few minutes today to thank that person. Better yet, use their example to inspire you to ask someone else.
Oh…the name in Jacob’s blank, by the way, is Clayton Greene. You’ve heard me mention Clayton around these parts before. He’s part of our church planting team that we recently sent to Wilmington. I’d imagine that there are a lot of “Jacobs” that could say the same thing about Clayton’s “asks” in their lives.
Whose name goes in your blank? I’d love to publicly honor them with you. Comment below.