Monday, March 5, 2007

Carve Out Some Time...

I was asked a unique question a while ago that I could not answer definitively without some thought. Today I had some time to reflect and think about the question. In my opinion every person has an answer to this question, yet taking the time to answer sincerely and honestly requires focus and thought. What is the question?

"Who have been the biggest human influences in your life?" I could easily throw out some off the cuff answers, but I wanted to give more thought to it than that. So here goes a list of ten of the greatest human influences in my life.

My wife Melinda. This is not just because "I have to say it." Melinda is the single greatest encourager in my life. She does not listen to my baloney when I am negative; instead, she motivates me to stand up and be the man of God I was created to be. When I need a boost I look to my wife; Melinda Knight is the single greatest human influence in my life.

My dad and mom. OK, I could have a slot for each of them individually because they were so important to me. There is still not a week that goes by, seven years after the crash, that I do not consider what they would think of our church, my marriage, leadership and those in our church they knew well. Mom taught me to expect God to do big things; Dad taught me to keep my priorities in check. Weekly I make decisions because of what they put in me.

Ron Luce from Teen Mania Ministries. Ron, reached out to me in a season I needed a vision bigger than myself. 12 years ago I was a fledgling youth pastor with no clue, and Ron's ministry and character were like a transfusion. I was never the same after reacquainting with him.

John Maxwell. John Maxwell wouldn't be an influence in my life if I did not read. I only know John Maxwell intimately because I have read his books, but on one occasion I went to his house with Bill Hybel's for a pastors summit. That was a special weekend.

TRC Eldership. Our elder ship are some of the most spectacular people I know. They are true elders and the greatest gift my dad gave me in the ministry. There is nothing like having the responsibility to lead our church. Our elders also give me the authority to lead TRC and I am so thankful for them. There has never been an occasion where I felt like I was hindered because of our board of elders.

Tim Gorman has been a source of wisdom to me for 2 decades. Tim and Linda Gorman started impacting my life when I was a teenager and continued well after I was married. Growing up Tim modeled generosity like no one else my family knew, he would even fill our cupboards with groceries when we were in college. Likewise, he left a lucrative job in Corporate America to help me lead our church after mom and dad passed. The greatest accomplishment Tim and I achieved in our six years working full-time together was leading our church into the new building. Tim worked tirelessly to see to it that our church was set up for the future. Thanks Tim.

Rory Tongg. I would be Rory's friend even if he never worked for the church. Rory is a friend in the truest sense of the word. When I think of being a friend I try and emulate Rory. His continuous loyalty is contagious and every person deserves a Rory Tonng type in their life.

Ryan and Jenny Brien. My sister and her husband have influenced me by being great examples of servant hood and leadership. They live with "can do" attitudes each and every day. I am so proud of who they have become and I can't wait for them to have children!

Other Pastor's like Wendell Smith, Ed Young Jr., Bill Hybels, Casey Treat, Bishop Jakes. I have devoured their material, teachings and messages. It would be hard to take credit for what they have placed inside of me. A pastor is always an echo before they are a voice and I thank these men for allowing me to echo them while finding my voice. Our church is better for your input.

The people of The Rock Church. Every person continually influences me to do my best in every area of life. Sometimes when I don't know if I can take another step all I have to do is think of those people walking through the door each week. Just their presence motivates me to step up and lead! Thank you TRC for being so passionate about God! You are all contagious!

Well there it is. Fully thing is, I limited it to ten for space sake, but there are at least a dozen I left off. I will throw some others out another time.

Carve out some time this week to be a human influence. You'd be surprised by what you will learn about yourself.