Living in the Shadow

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I've always been a natural leader. I'm outgoing, naturally loud, and have the personality that works well under pressure and stress. Problem is, I never had the opportunity to truly shape my leadership in a Godly way. Sure, you can be a great leader but are you one that is focused on doing God's will?

Which led me to February of 2012. A certain leader, whom I won't name here, began to ask me to come to a FHKids orientation to find out more information on being a teacher in a class called "Planet Zion." Sure, sounds easy enough. How hard can it be to teach first thru third graders a bible lesson each Sunday? I truly had no idea how great my life would change and be impacted by taking this woman up on her offer. Not to mention I never even imagined that God would be calling me into kids ministry. (Truthfully, it was the LAST place I was sure He would call me).

I went though and she had this sneaky way of just putting you were she thought you would fit. I began this crazy, wild adventure with a group of people I barely know but now call my best friends. I set up on Saturdays, tore down each Sunday, and helped kids worship and learn scripture.

He wasn't finished though. I felt a pull. A call. Something was stirring, boiling, bubbling up inside of me. God was calling me into something more. 

Fast forward (to help with your crazy attention span) a year. I continued to be faithful and serve. The more I get involved and get to know my leaders and become vulnerable I can feel the Lord calling me into leadership. The Pastors and leaders at my church have helped to guide me in a way I have never been guided. Through the Holy spirit and guidance and vulnerability I began to see fruit and gifts grow I never thought could grow. Because....

You see, I used to struggle heavily with something. It's called...ego. I wanted people to notice me. If I did something well or right I wanted people to praise me, compliment me, or promote me. This was how it was done in my past. If I didn't get those things then clearly I must be doing something wrong, right?

Not necessarily. While I think a healthy dose of appreciation is valuable in keeping volunteers and leaders (meaning those leaders under the senior Pastors) fresh and motivated, it should not be what keeps them coming. A true leader is a servant of the Lord. And a servant of the Lord asks for nothing in return, even if appreciation is never shown.

Ronald Reagan is attributed to have once quipped, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." He's right. Can you imagine the lives that could be impacted if instead of fighting over who did what or who gets the credit for something if we just allowed our ego's to be pushed aside and just did our work and volunteering as unto the Lord?

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it will all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."

The Lord sees everything we do. He is our ultimate source of compliment. Regardless of our imperfect human flesh we should be working with all our heart because we do it for Jesus, not for recognition. Working for Jesus also frees us to recognize the work of other people with reckless abandon. We become a serious encourager. There's no need to compete, to put others down, or to steal contributions of those around us. God watches and He is the most gracious boss you've ever had!

Ultimately I realized if I was performing or volunteering to win praise and recognition from others then I was performing and volunteering for all of the wrong reasons!

Not to mention our ego's can sometimes cloud our judgment and cause us to stumble in sin. At times God will move us into a place of great leadership with great responsibility and we can lose sight of who is really doing what. Meaning we can think it's of our own being and not God's. We end up doing things God has not asked of us or find ourselves weak in doing things on our own accord. I urge you, STOP. Refresh yourself and repent. Remember, truly, why we are servants. Jesus never asked for recognition nor did He lead with the intention of gaining something back. Close any door that will hinder your walk with Him and consistently seek accountability.

When God changed my heart in this area,  my volunteering changed. I desire to live a pure life, one based on scripture and to lead with integrity. I want to live in the shadows. If from this day forward I never received another thank you, it would be OK. Christ is enough for me. Because it's not about my ego, or a power trip, it's about souls and it's about making an eternal impact on even just ONE child's life.

I encourage you today. Remember Psalms 75:7 which says, "It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another." 



  1. I know your post isn't about this, but it reminds me so much of motherhood. Moms don't get promotions, they often don't get thanks, compliments or anything. And they have to give of themselves so much every single day. I think it is one "job" that makes us so much more like Christ (if the mom is a Christian).

    And so many great leaders through out history really got the living in the shadows thing. Dying to self is truly the hardest, but most important, thing for Christians to embrace if they want to bring about good fruit. Learning to focus on Christ and His Word are not always easy. Especially in our culture where we are taught to be all about us.

    Anyway, I'm glad you are enjoying yourself at church. It's amazing you can balance so much responsibility there and your home and family at the same time without neglect creeping in anywhere!! So many women can't do that (this one definitely couldn't lol). But that's great for you, Megan!! Way to go! :) Very encouraging post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, Hollie, this can be applied in many areas of life but motherhood is absolutely one of them.

      I am enjoying myself at church. But you see, it's much more than that. I get the chance on a daily basis to impact so many lives. The lives of families and children, including my own.

      As far as balancing so much responsibility part of it depends on a persons personality. I thrive off of a busy lifestyle whereas some people/woman can't. There is nothing wrong with either. I will have to give credit though to my friends and family. I have an amazing support system here. And because my main focus in volunteering/serving is Kids Ministry my kids go to every single meeting, appointment, or project that we have. Part of Freedom House's known character is they BELIEVE in family. And that it comes next after God. (God, Family, Ministry...)

    2. I think an important support system is crucial! That really makes a huge difference in any aspect of life. It's wonderful you are surrounded by such a great group of people :)

      I don't think we fully ever grasp the lives we impact daily. Just with our own children, a trip to town, a phone call, a FB status, etc. It is amazing. We cannot see the future, but everything we do, say, the way we look at people, the way people look at us, etc. is impacting people in some way. Isn't that amazing? I was sitting at a stop light last week watching the cars pass in front of me and I thought, wow look how many lives just past before me I wonder why God had put those people in those cars at that time. So I just started praying for each face that drove past. I think it is great you are reaching out to so many people. And the example you are setting for your kids that we should be servants and reaching out to others is so important and that is making a huge impact that you can't see now because they will carry it into the future and impact others! We see that with our ministry at the abortion clinics. Our girls are really being changed and molded by the Lord there. They are developing hearts for taking the Gospel to all people. Rylee now loves to pass out tracts anytime we are anywhere. And Emma is learning to use her talents and gifts to help others. It's such a blessing when you start to see fruit like that :) I'm sure you know all about that because I know you have had your kids along with you at many serving opportunities.

      Sorry to ramble on. I just get excited thinking about multi-generational faithfulness. I'm glad you have caught that vision too :)

  2. Good thought,Megan! I used to think I had to do something significant. I didn't think Motherhood was enough for me and right now it is. I wanted the world to say how good I was doing or see how important my calling was. God has been working with me on that for the last couple of years. God says what I am worth,not anyone else. I will have to add your blog to mine so I can read it!

    1. Heather, of course motherhood is enough! If I felt God only calling me not to volunteer or be an apprentice being at home would still be enough. Ultimately I am still a firm believer that motherhood is the TOUGHEST job out there (well honestly outside of homicide detectives that deal with the death and trauma of children). You are absolutely right, God does define your worth, NO ONE else does

      Please add my blog! I would love that. :D