This was originally posted on Orange Leaders back in the spring. I thought it was fitting as I’m headed to Chicago this week to lead a discussion on Building Creative Teams. One of my first points is all about knowing who you are, finding your strengths and your own voice, and leading from there.
“The Message… the journey to finding my voice” by Dan Scott
Orange Leaders gave me a challenge: describe your own personal journey on your brand—the message you want to be sending with your life.
Growing up I wanted to be everything from a performer to a jock (for like a day), a lawyer to a teacher. I wanted to be famous and important, make lots of money to afford a slammin’ wardrobe. Even when I started working in the church, I kept looking for stepping stones to what could be next for me—worship arts, small groups, senior pastor? Because of this occupational ADD, I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to be. I was probably sending a message to the world that I only cared about me. And for the most part, that was true.
I don’t have to tell you. This is not the message anyone should broadcast with their life.
Somewhere along my journey of faith, the Spirit turned a light on. I’m thankful for my wife and some amazing friends whose words brought me to my knees and helped begin a new journey of discovery. This time the question was not “Who do I want to be?”
The question was “Who has God made me to be?”
One day after a conversation with another kid’s pastor, it hit me square in the face. This is who I am. I am that guy who loves kids and families and watching them connect with God and His church. I love helping leaders across the world win in ministry. This is how God has made me, and it is good.
From that moment on, I was free to live as God created me. I didn’t have to hide behind any false pretenses. A weight had been lifted. In many ways, I felt comfortable in my skin for the first time. I had found my voice.
We’re all on a journey of self-discovery. When we follow the call to serve the church, more often than not this journey is out there for many people to see. I want to send the message that I’m real and that what you see is what you get. I will do my best to love God and love others, but I’m not always going to get that right. I want other leaders know that we’re all in this together. We share in each other’s wins and failures. We will laugh and cry together. We will encourage each other along this journey of faith.
And so I live my life out loud. I write about it all from the good to the bad and even the ugly (yes, I put Santa on stage once!). If we can’t be real with whom we serve, what are we doing here?
My challenge to the Orange Leaders out there is to find people in your life who will call you on your inconsistencies. Find mentors who will speak truth into your life and shape who into the person God desires. As a result, you will find your voice, hone your message, and speak volumes as to the grace of God working in your life.