My heart is torn in a beautiful way.
It’s the only way I know how to describe the state of my soul when someone passes from a limited/partial understanding of Jesus into the absolute fullness of that Hope.
Within me, there is a part of me that mourns the loss of a giant. The other side of my absolutely rejoices that he now experiences the Joy he has so often proclaimed. I’ve never personally met Reverend Billy Graham nor have I been to one of his crusades. I have watched from afar, admired the beauty of his heart, and been astounded at the power of his message.
It was a few years ago when I saw a fellow minister’s interview with Billy Graham when I sat back and thought to myself: I just want to be in the room with him.
Have you ever thought that of someone? I do all the time. It’s not because I have lists of questions to ask (in which I do). But I want to be in the room with people with years under their belt and experience dripping from their lives. For someone like Billy, I don’t want to really say much other than “thank you.” Other than that, I want just want to be in the room to be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” I just want to catch the heart of who he is.
Sit with Giants
It’s taken me a few years to get some boldness, but as I’ve matured (ish), I’ve realized how much I need to “be in the room” with “giants.” These are people who have both years and experiences I do not possess. Younger, older, in my denomination (fellowship) or outside of the Assemblies of God, it doesn’t matter. Everything God has given me belongs to Him (including my life and calling), so allow myself to be in position to be imparted into is nothing short of stewardship. I am responsible for growing what God has given me in order to be faithful with what He has entrusted me with.
If I were to be “naked and unashamed,” I have a natural intimidation that comes from insecurities that I’ve battled with my entire life. Early in ministry, I’ve forfeited opportunities with “giants” out of fear or wanting somebody to pursue me. So, for that moments to happen, I needed to stop waiting for them to chase me. I needed to chase them.
A couple of years ago, I was at a small conference where a pastor was speaking. This guy (IMO) is a giant in pastoral ministry. I’ve heard him speak before at conferences. I remember seeing him on the cover to TIME Magazine. And walking out of the room, I saw him standing checking his messages on his phone. I introduced myself and thanked him for what he imparted into the room of pastors. Then he said it, “Next time you come through my city, let me know and we’ll do coffee.” I felt like the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as if it say, “When you say that to others, you mean it. Why don’t you think he means it to?”
The old Dave would’ve just said , “Cool. Thanks for offering.” Then I’d go back to my room kicking myself for letting my insecurities get the best of me. But you don’t grow from fear. My response was, “I’m actually driving through there in a month. Can we do it then?”
Don’t Be Robbed of a “Giant” Opportunity
That “coffee” meeting fed more into my spirit than most conferences have provided. The bro provided food, coffee, access to staff and his building. I have his cell number to text or call. He invested in me (and others with me) more than I ever expected. And all of that would have been forfeited had I been too prideful of “needing help” or too fearful of asking for help. Pride and fear are keeping our pastors living in a state of having an “image” but no “power.” Competition and comparison has robbed our church leaders of their joy and has sapped them of their passion. The individualistic glory seeking, empire building mindset has distorted what the Kingdom of God stands for. We are His body. And we need each other.
We need mentors and giants. We need spiritual fathers and mothers pouring into us. But stop waiting for a “Paul” to chase a “Timothy” (you). Stop allowing pride and fear disrupt a holy opportunity. A “Paul” might choose a “Timothy” but “Timothy’s” chase “Pauls.” Go after a “giant,” be in the room with them, and whatever is poured into you, “go and do likewise.”
Who do you need to “be in the room” with? Who do you need to set up an appointment with to talk? Get out of your pride and over your insecurity to sit, glean, learn, and grow.
Billy Graham. You are one of these giants I have glean from a far. Much of our world has been touched and transformed directly or indirectly by you. Only heaven will be able to calculate the amount of churches birthed, mission’s fields pioneered, vocations impacted, families restored by the message you offered to all and the hope you planted in hearts.
Thank you for your investment into us and placing the baton in our hands. We will not allow fear and pride to prevent us from being faithful with it.
Blessings on your family.
…thanks for letting me ramble…