After the home going of my mom on November 1, I made the trip to her celebration service with my two daughters (My son had COVID-19 at the time - so he and my wife stayed home). But before the service for my mom I decided to take my girls down memory lane. In fact, I started at the first church I ever worked at - Redeeming Love Fellowship; Hartford, NY.
It was a small upstate New York church with about 15 members when I first arrived there. I wish I could say it was a great experience. It was not. That's why it only last 9 months. It is one of the only things I had ever quit in my life (the other was McDonald's after a 3 or 4 hour shift). It was not the sexiest way to jump into ministry. To be honest, after that 9 months I was ready to throw in the towel.
Leaders don't quit, they pivot.
It was in that dark place where I first learned the art of the pivot. What is that? The art of the pivot is simply when things don't go your way you just find another way. Leaders don't quit, they pivot. I had to learn really quick how to pivot and I have been pivoting ever since.
Never forget where you started. It keeps you humble and hungry. I am so grateful to a rough start in ministry because it taught me to appreciate every single thing that I experience - good or bad.
Looking back over the last 2 1/2 weeks since my mom made her grand entrance into Heaven has really helped me to look back. And sometimes the only way to get ahead is to look behind. To see how far you have come. It has been miraculous to see God's hand on this little boy from Buffalo, New York. I grew up in a single parent home with financial struggles for my entire upbringing. Food pantries and government peanut butter. But I am grateful.
My mom wrote all of her boys a note that I only saw after she passed away. I will cherish the paragraph of wisdom she unloaded on me, but one line will continue to challenge me to walk in my calling: "Continue to walk in the anointing of the Lord and God will use you in a great and mighty way." Dang. It was written 7 years ago, but it was for today.
Sometimes you have to look behind in order to get ahead. Learning from the past, but not living in the past!
I will never forget the humble beginnings because it allows me to celebrate the current blessings. Never forget where you started. But don't stay stuck there. Keep moving. Keep grinding.