Ten seconds after I told Chris I was willing to accept some leadership responsibility for the Connections Campaign, I asked myself, out loud, “Why did I say yes??!!” As if I already didn’t have enough to do?
I immediately went on a rampant search for something inspirational, some famous quote, focusing on something about what it means to lead. I found one by John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Sounds great. Yeah, right.
Reading other quotes about leadership only made matters worse. So, I changed tactics and began searching my soul for why I would support the campaign, let alone help lead it. I realized I had to be convinced that my faith in the campaign would allow me to unapologetically ask people to share more of their hard earned resources than they were already sharing.
My answer came when I realized how it was that I first found my way to Emmanuel one Sunday morning a few years ago. I didn’t feel like getting up, getting dressed and being somewhere on a schedule. That’s for Monday through Friday. But I knew being in church on Sunday morning was the right thing to do.
But why did I wander into Emmanuel? Why not some other church? I knew the sanctuary was old and grand and beautiful. I figured it would only last about an hour, even if the preacher was boring, uninspiring or just plain bad. And if nothing else, I could gaze at the beautiful stained glass and take in the grand old architecture that had stood proudly for generations.
Remembering this led me to realize why I had said yes. For many generations, people have been faithful enough to give, build and rebuild, and persevere. For over 100 years, people have been faithful enough to believe and believe again that Emmanuel needed to be here.
It was the faithful sacrifice of generations of people I never knew which made sure Emmanuel would be there, waiting for me. Waiting patiently for me to wander in someday and find a place to be, a place to connect with God, just as He had planned it. What I first thought was just another obligation to cram into my already overflowing days and budget, had taken on a new light.
It is my sincere prayer that each of us will do our part to make sure Emmanuel is here, patiently waiting for years to come and connect some wandering soul to God. Personally, I thank each and every one of you for all you have done and all that you continue to do. God bless you.