Awkward Moments Matter.

There are not too many things that get me “off my game” or feeling “awkward.” But there is definitely one – Pastor Appreciation Day. Every year our staff puts together an incredible service where they pause to show some honor – not to the position, but the people. This is so awkward for me; for our family. But we have recognized how important these moments are for our church to just stop and say, ‘Thank you.’

For the first 13 years of my ministry I served behind the scenes. I truly desired to come alongside the pastors God had placed over me. I wanted them to look better, be better and grow better. It was my passion as the person who sat in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th chair to serve behind the scenes. I was happy in that position. I never really wanted the spotlight or stage.

But now, for the last 9 1/2 years, God pushed Mary and I to the front. It is still hard for us to believe that God has put us where we are. We don’t seek to be honored or over blessed by those who serve with us – but they do. I woke up today still feeling awkward, but also feeling so loved by our church family.

We are grateful for our incredible staff – Gina, Matt, Bency, Christina, Milton, Jeremy, Frank, David, Michelle, Lauriel, Karissa and Mercy. They make our job so easy. In fact, they make us look better than we are. Can’t wait to BLESS them this Christmas season.

Awkward moments remind you where you came from.

Hard to believe how far God has taken our family. We look back over the past 10 years and cannot believe the doors God has unlocked for us. But we will never take for granted the humble beginnings in a movie theater where we were thrilled with 50 people. Those beginnings are etched in our spirits.

Awkward moments reveal your motives.

Yep, it’s true. There are moments in life when things get awkward, but they always reveal something. I am not a huge fan of Pastor Appreciation Day because I always want it is be about Jesus. I never want to get in the way. Plus a big part of me still wants to hide out in the shadows.

Awkward moments often grow our platform.

Over the last 23 years of ministry I have experienced many awkward moments, but all of them God has used to increase our influence as a family. Speaking for 30 seconds at Yankee Stadium with Joel Osteen in front of 42,000 people – awkward. Especially for someone who was dealing with anxiety at that time. It was awkward but it grew our influence.

Mary never desired to speak in front of people. She was content being behind the scenes – supporting the vision, lifting the vision and aligning the vision. But God thrust her into the spotlight – and she serves, speaks, encourages with such grace and elegance. Every week she inspires our church.

We are so incredibly thankful for our church. We read every card, every post, every email and every text. We felt your love. Thank you for making awkward moments that help us remember that its all Jesus. We could not do it without Him. In fact, we would not do it. One church in two locations. Thank you for showing us so much. We are honored to love and lead this movement.

This weekend we realized that AWKWARD MOMENTS MATTER.

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