A letter to Greg
Greg writes a letter to his younger self.
I hope all’s well and congratulations on your election as the President of Knights*! Trust me, it’s gonna be a LOOONNNGGG journey, one with many hurts but equally as many joys. And in all things, God. Now, you probably don’t believe me when I tell you that you’ll probably rely on Him A LOT and not just on your ideas (which are still amazing by the way, up top!) But just some things I wanna share about the journey (not that it’ll avoid the falls because those are important for growth) that I hope you can take to heart and to remember (albeit hindsightedly) when troubles do abound.
1) You are not the perfect leader and you will never be. You will hurt others with your actions. You will not be able to meet the different expectations of all your leaders. Not everything you plan will go as you want it to and not all your objectives will be met. You will juggle your relationships and you will drop a few, breaking them or straining the others in the process. You are not perfect. Be ok with that. You were never called because you were perfect. You were never asked because you were the perfect candidate or the top one. You were called because He has made you imperfect that through these imperfections, you can lead the Knights. Not to a lofty ideal but slowly towards Him. Towards the one who put you there in the first place. Never forget that it’s not about your perfection. It’s about His perfection through your imperfections. That being said…
2) Ask and you shall receive. Let yourself be vulnerable to your leaders and be humble enough to ask them for help, even at the risk of rejection and being pushed into a corner. Because unless you ask, you will never know. You will never realise that so many are there waiting to help you, if you but ask. Find someone who can challenge you and who can pull you back down from the clouds to reality as your second in command. Find people who share the fundamentals of loving God and the desire to bring these kids to God and hold on to them tight. And yet, don’t discount those who have not reached this stage because it may be your job to then show this to them and to bring them closer to God. In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, diversity. In all things, charity.
3) Love the souls of those under your care. Not just their personal life stories, or their physical body (that’s important too else the wrath of parents be upon you) but more importantly, their heart and soul. “If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Not just your young servers, but even the leaders under your care. Ultimately, we all are broken and hurting and even these leaders too, they are humans whose souls have been placed in your hands. Take care of them. Ask them about how they’re doing in life. Have activities for them to rewind and enjoy each other’s company. Let them live a bit. They are, after all, still youths. If you do nothing else throughout your term as president, at the very least do this. Let any of the souls in your hands be able to proclaim that through you, they have seen the love of God for them. And with that, my final advice to you…
4) Enjoy yourself. A lot of time I get caught up in the bigger picture of it all. Seems kind of stressful holding all these souls in your hands doesn’t it? Well it’s not your hands. It’s God’s hands. You are simply His instrument, His channel to touch the souls of these people. You are an individual made special and loved by God as well. Relish in that fact and live a little. Spend time with Mom and Dad. Play and chill with your brother. Go fishing with Zac and the rest. Grab good coffee and chat about life with Chris. Be honest to yourself about how tired or stressed you are. Accept the freedom that comes from trusting the Lord in all his power and mercy and in your helplessness. By all means, don’t neglect your duty. However, your duty is not to simply lead the Knights. Your first and foremost duty is to God and to be accountable to your soul and heart. If you do all this in ministry and you lose yourself in the process, then you would have attained nothing at all. “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” The first step to loving God and bringing others to do the same, is to love yourself first, a unique creation loved by Jesus.
That’s all from me! HAHA it seems a bit fluffy I know (please I know how you were or I was 5 years ago please) but really, enjoy your life and your friends! You’re gonna hate moments of your time as President but at the end of it all, you wouldn’t exchange the experience for anything else. At the end of it all, do all things in love and God will lead the way! Enjoy yourself and see you in about 5 year’s time!!
(* Just a side note: The Knights is the name of an altar server ministry from a small little parish on top of a hill in Singapore!)
© 2017 Christ Centered Conversations/Gregory Adrian Gunawan
#burnout #ministry #selfcare #greg #lettertoself #altarservers #knightsofthealtar