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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You

I've been doing some thinking lately about the kinds of things that inspired me to get involved in full-time ministry in the first place nearly 25 years ago.

I'll admit that it wasn't for the money, or the lifestyle that ministry could afford me. It wasn't for the power and fame that might some day come my way, and it certainly wasn't for country club perks.

So if it wasn't for all the things that many people strive toward a certain career path, then what was it?
Well, I don't know if I can point to one defining moment when I knew for sure that ministry was the path for me, but I do remember conversations, affirmations and encouraging statements from my Youth Pastor, teachers, coaches and other mentors that God had placed in my life.

I received all kinds of input from people that I respected, trusted and allowed to speak truth into my life, and God used it to help shape not only who I was but who He wanted me to become for His glory.

I remember being inspired by the words and actions of my Youth Pastor and challenged and driven by the goals of my coaches. There was a definite level of passion, and purpose in everything they did, and it was contagious.



I mean looking back on my teen years especially, God used the right mix of His Word, His leaders, my desire to serve Him and an opportunity to discover, use and hone my gifts and abilities in the context of some pretty turbulent times in my life to get my attention that He wanted me to be involved in ministry...for the long haul!

If I could sum up what I saw and what I knew I wanted to be a part of, it would be "passion to reach out to others for the cause of Christ, regardless of what you get in return."
That's what I saw modeled in front of me through the lives of people that God sent into my life during my childhood and teenage days, and is an attitude that I would love to have define my life as well, because that's exactly how Jesus lived His life on this earth.

He gave everything for me...endured the pain and shame when He didn't deserve it, and calls each of us to live our lives in a response that says "Thank You" for what He's done.

This "thank you" attitude is what was contagious to me as a young teenager, and is what is still the most influential quality I can recall from my mentors. They did what they did to reach others for the cause of Christ regardless of what they would get in return.

As I think back on it, the investment they made in my life and many others that I grew up with is just astounding. The impact of an investment in the life of a young person is one of the best investments you can make, because God's Kingdom is about life change, and life change happens through people.

I've heard it said that if you want to change the world, reach young people.

I love that statement, and am so glad that some passionate, God loving, Youth Leaders, Coaches, and teachers followed God's call on their lives to impact a generation of young people in my youth group, and school and sports teams.

Because they obeyed and followed God's lead with passion, I can name a whole bunch of names of classmates and teammates that are doing the same kinds of things all around the world right now!

Who knows how many more lives have been impacted through the lives that we have touched as well, and on and on it goes!

So, this post is a shout out to my heroes growing up...thank you for all that you did to model servant leadership to a rag tag bunch from the booming metropolis of Horesheads, NY and it's surrounding areas. Because of you and your investments...lives are being changed for the Lord...Globally!

What you did, and why you did it doesn't make sense to alot of people. I mean from their perspective "why in the world would you spend time teaching and training those kids?" and "why in the world would you do what you do and get paid peanuts in return?"

You can't blame them really, I mean if a person doesn't understand the passion that drives someone to do great things, they will never totally "get it," they'll think you're wasting your time, talents and energies, and for what?

Well, the way I look at it, it's a whole lot more important to see a life changed going back out and seeing more lives changed for the Kingdom. That's what's going to last!

So, Thank You to all of the people who helped shape this life, and thank you for all those who are shaping the lives of others! You're making a difference...and I would just like to say...

Thank You!

7 comments:

  1. Thank you Brent for what you have done for us at ISM in Fishkill. with all your time and effort and just believing in all of us. because of you i want to be in youth ministry to help teens and bring them to Christ and let them know that i would never give up on them cuz they need ppl to believe in them at that age. Thank you again. Your the man.

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  2. such great insight into what made you, you. Thanks for all you do at mhccc!!! We love you here =)

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