My sister called me Saturday to wish me happy birthday. She’s really good at it – wishing me happy birthday that is. She’s had tons of practice. I’ve had forty of ‘em.
In our conversation, I explained to her that I was now blogging and my kids now avoid me to reduce their risk of exposing themselves to extreme nerdification. I also told her that they’re fickle, those kids of mine. Six months ago I was metro. “You know, metro-sexual,” I said to her. “Ever hear of that?”
“Of course, I have,” she says. She has teenagers, too. My sister gets called things by her kids that gently educate her that she, too, is out of sync with the hip universe ruled by teen-agers.
“Anyway,” she continues, “metro is out; uber is in.”
“Uber? Says I. “What’s uber? Whatever it is, I know I’m not it if it’s cool. I’m a nerd.”
“Uber sexual is a manly man.”
“I want to be a manly man. Did you see my blog about all my motorcycles? I was a MARINE! Remember?” I whine.
“You’re proving you’re not ‘uber’,” my sister reminds me with cruelty in her voice. She was a Marine, too.
When one has forty birthdays under one’s belt, one reflects. Today I reflected. What set off this reflection session were some encouraging words from a new staff member. I thought about his words today on my ride home and thought how much I wish my life was where his is with the Lord when I was his age. I thought about all the Godly men that have influenced my life. I want to tell you about them. There are many “Über Christ Followers” that I have to thank for who I am as a Christian. These are the guys I want to be like when I grow up. I’ll write about these guys over the next few weeks. Today, I’ll start with Jeff Thompson.
Jeff Thompson is twenty-three years old and the worship pastor at the church where I’m an assistant pastor. Jeff is an Über Christ Follower. In the short time he has been on our staff, he has impacted and challenged and set an example for me to follow with three distinct characteristics: passion for Christ worship, servant-leadership, and raw creativity.
Jeff’s passion for leading people into the presence of God drives the Sunday morning service at Calvary Chapel Jupiter and lays the groundwork Pastor Dan’s delivery of God’s word. The combination of Jeff’s upbeat, modern worship style coupled with Dan’s rock-solid Bible instruction has transformed how church is done at Calvary Chapel Jupiter.
For the past eight years, Calvary Chapel Jupiter has been a portable church. We have set up church and packed it all back into three cube trucks for fifty-two weeks a year times eight. (Man, I never looked at like that before.) That doesn’t even include the five years that we had a mid-week Bible study up and running.
Since Jeff came on board, he has made the load a good deal lighter. His servant-leadership style has inspired a number of new guys and gals to join our team and shoulder the load. Since day one, Jeff has set the bar high and I’ve been running to keep up.
Jeff is creative. I don’t really know how to explain it other than his creativity is raw and unpretentious. I’ve been around some creative people that have tremendous talent and ability, but have this “I-am-the-elite-gift-given-to-the-planet-by-God-and-don’t-you-dare-forget-it-and-if-you-do-I’ll-remind-you” attitude. That always makes me feel small. Jeff is creative but doesn’t make me feel small. He makes me feel like I’m all right to hang around.
Jeff makes me think of this verse written by Paul the Apostle:
“…and sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times. He's a brother and companion in the faith, God's man in spreading the Message, preaching Christ…” 1 Thessalonians 3:2