Several years ago, I went to the Christmas Conference and met Garett and the students he brought from his campus. I had been coaching him for a few months at that time and this was the first time to meet him face to face. As we were catching up, he showed me his ministry notebook. He had printed out every resource posted on GodSquad! I asked him why he had printed everything. He said it was so much more convenient having it at his fingertips. I learned several things from that little exchange on that initial meeting.
First, I discounted his initiative. I encouraged Garett to go to GodSquad to download some resources. I thought he would just get those I listed. However, he looked at everything. He wanted to see what was there and what he might be able to use in different situations.
Second, I misjudged his own vision for his ministry. Garett went to the campus. He knew the people and had a real heart to see others come to Christ. He wanted to grow the ministry in such a way that they could touch every student on campus. I remember thinking that his vision outpaced my own for him at the time. Was I limiting him?
I remember as a student at Penn State, I walked around East Halls every Thursday night one year with my friend Wayne, praying for God to bring students to Christ. Many of us developed plans, came up with the tools and took steps of faith to reach out. I saw myself as a leader. Did I see Garett as the kind of leader that I saw myself when I was a student? I wonder how often I was spoon feeding Garett and others I have coached when they were capable of self feeding?
There are two articles, first available on The Compass, now on CruPressGreen, that offer perspective on choosing and developing leaders.
As I think back on that time working with Garett, I think about how God is more concerned about reaching the lost than I am. He will raise up His people who will make a difference beyond my own efforts. Certainly, the Lord will do what he will do apart from me. But does my coaching of others anticipate God working in extraordinary ways? Do they know that I have confidence in them? Do I see those I coach for who they are today or for what they will become? Do I give them freedom to step out in new ways? May the Lord give us many like Garett with the vision to reach campus.