Friday, December 02, 2005

Über Christ Followers – Part 9 – Stephan Tchividjian

We all hate Stephan. He’s so smart; so dang good looking. Everything he touches turns to gold. Everything he thinks of he’s able to make happen. He makes me sick. I can totally identify with Daniel’s co-workers in Babylon under the Persian king:

Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and princes. Because of his great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. (Daniel 6:3, 4)

Stephan Tchividjian's name may be the name I’ve dropped most. Guilty as charged. When I joined the staff at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale in 1994, Stephan had the youth ministry where I interned under his umbrella of ministry oversight. He advised me when I launched a college aged group team up with other ministers in our community with the same vision and heart for young people and partner with them.

"Share information with them."

"Learn new stuff."

"Expand your influence and effectiveness in your ministry world."

These are lessons I’ve applied right up to the present whether I'm involved with foreign missions, student ministry, or local outreach. In my current role as a missions and outreach pastor, when a ministry approaches me with a proposal or a request for a piece of our church's outreach budget, I find out how well that ministry works with other ministries. Does the ministry think they are the only game in town or do they see that they are member of the body of Christ with a specific function and a responsibility to serve the other parts of the body?

One of my "ministry gifts" is questioning. Most of the time asking too many questions is viewed as a challenge to authority. Call me a rebel and blame Stephan. Challenge the status quo. Are we doing this just because we’ve always done it? Is that the only reason we’re doing it this way? Is there a better way to do it? Is this the best use of the resources given to us by God?

I wish that everything I did was consistently filtered through questions like these. I seem to have to work from a checklist to make decisions wisely. Stephan does it naturally and comfortably; he makes ministry look easy. That's the evidence of God's Spirt blessing and working in a man's life.

No comments: