Monday, October 21, 2013

The Calling

Greetings friends and family,

What a great weekend for the 4 Webbs.  Thank God Ouma is here!  Our weekend would have been ten times more difficult without her because the twins are both sick.  Other than that minor detail we are doing great.  Saturday morning turned into a daddy date with just Layla and I at the soccer field.  Easton was already feverish so he had to stay home.  He doesn't like to be on video much, but he is happy to share about whatever interests him.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle phase came and went fairly quickly, but his love of aerospace has remained constant since he first saw an airplane in the sky.

Layla represented well by scoring a goal and winning honors for teamwork.  One of her teammates had his shoelaces come undone.  He stood there waiting for the coach to notice and tie his shoes.  Layla ran over and said, "don't worry coach, I do this for my brother all the time."  She tied his shoes in sturdy knots and off he went.

Layla did many things right on the soccer field that are a result of the practices and time between games to figure out the game.

Guess who learned "defense" and blasted the ball away from the other team before they were close to our goal?  That's my girl.

I guess I should get used to boys chasing Layla, but this is the only acceptable scenario for the next few years where it is OK for them to chase her... on the field.

She sat out one quarter (yes, our game is split into 4 quarters) and I noticed she crosses her legs like a princess even in cleats and shin guards.

We bought gifts for the twins in Dallas during our conference trip.   They appreciated the contents even more than we hoped.  Easton's favorite gift is the combination microscope/telescope.  Layla's is box of stamps.  Doesn't take much to make their day.  They might even want us to go away more often if they know we return bearing gifts.

Speaking of gifts...  Aunt Mary blessed the twins with a "Y Bike".  It's like the old-school Big Wheel, but the controls and wheels are backwards.  The steel frame and rubber tires are super sturdy.

Easton took about 10 minutes of stick-time to get comfortable with the pedal motion.  Once he figured it out he was rolling around the streets with no issues.

I told them to "show me how excited you are for the Y Bikes!" This is the result.

And of course, Layla can pose and smile no matter what the situation or props available.  Yes, this contraption works on grass too.  Especially down hill.  :)

Now I'll get back to "the calling" from my previous post.  The short version of my story is that God made me to be a servant leader and my Dad developed me.  Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  The phrase "way he should go" has nothing to do with personal convictions of my parents or family traditions.  It means "in keeping with his God-given individual gift".  Dad may have got those confused at times, but he taught me to be a servant and helper within the boundaries of my own intelligence, capabilities, and interests.  When he worked on the car he didn't show me how to rebuild the engine, but he let me get tools for him and assist.  I was (and am) perfectly content to let my leaders lead while I support.

Before I get into the story, watch this clip:

At the 2:20 mark he says, "I believe God made me for a purpose. He also made me fast.  and when I run, I feel HIS pleasure."  This movie, Chariots of Fire, was released when I was six years old.  I don't remember how old I was when I first saw it, but that scene was etched in my memory ever since.  I've wondered my whole life how to feel His pleasure.  The new role I'm stepping into as executive pastor is the first time I've felt His pleasure.  There is no glory or recognition or status, but that's not what motivates me, which makes this a perfect fit.  For the first time in my life I'm in the middle of this overlap between my talents, my passion, and the needs of the church.  I feel His pleasure.  Not one moment of my 16 year corporate career gives me as much fulfillment as the past two months of ministry in this capacity.

So what is a "calling"? There are four types:

General call : All Christians are called, by nature of their baptism, to ministry and service.
Ecclesiastical call : The Church’s corporate call that reflects different needs in times and contexts.
Providential call : The gifts, talents, and experiences one has been given to carry out God’s call
Secret call : A deepening sense within of a specific ministry or work to which God is calling you.

Dad recognized my providential call and, from what Mom said, confirmed it by saying I would be "a friend of the Pastor".  Back when I was a boy there was no executive pastor role, but I believe this is the role he had in mind.

Six years ago Kendra and I attended a Wednesday night church service.  We had only attended a few times and didn't have any friends or connections.  She was pregnant with the twins.  I had no idea about the amount of time and resources parenting requires.  To top it off, our marriage was just recovering from the dysfunctional crisis state when we were on the verge of separation.

At the end of service I felt a deep sense of compassion for Pastor and a switch was flipped in my heart that energized a desire to see his vision carried out.  I walked up to the platform where he was standing and said, "what can I do to help?"  He could have easily taken advantage of my eagerness by loading me up with tasks.  However, knowing Kendra was about to have the twins, he said, "come back and talk to me a year."  I could have taken offense to that, as some would, but instead I trusted his wisdom and focused on Kendra and the twins.

After a year of faithful attendance, consistent giving, and an eye-opening experience of bringing Easton and Layla into the world I approached the pastor again.  I thanked him for putting me on hold and not allowing me to get my priorities out of alignment.  I don't even remember my first task or role, but it was insignificant and unseen.  The more I did what I was asked, the more he gave me to do.  I have yet to ever say "no" to any opportunity he has offered.  Here's a list of the different roles I've filled in the past five years:

Small group leader
Alarm responder
Membership class teacher
Young adults ministry leader
Armor bearer
Advisory board member
Finance budget committee leader
Security team leader
Crisis support ministry leader
Inner healing ministry leader
Mentoring group leader
Guest speaker

and now, executive pastor.  There is more work to do in this role than I could ever have time for even if I didn't have my corporate job.  Even so, Pastor agreed to let me fill this role temporarily with as much time and attention as I can give it.  I don't know how long I'll have this role or where it will lead.  All I have is the task at hand and the desire to see Pastor's vision carried out.

My secret call as described above was ignited six years ago and I didn't even recognize it at the time.  Last week Pastor empowered me with the authority and responsibility to oversee several specific focus areas.  I am called to be diligent with whatever I'm given to do no matter what it is.  

This is a new chapter I will need to navigate wisely by maintaining my priorities.  I could easily leave the other 3 Webbs in the dust as I provide for our family while serving in the church.  Accountability and time management must be elevated at the same rate as my time commitments.  Bear with me as the 4 Webbs adjust to the next level of serving.

See you soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! The Lord has prepared you for the ministry that He is calling you to do. The list of opportunities to serve show you have proven faithful in the smaller things. May God continue to keep you focused on His will and keep your mind "stayed" on Him. Love ya gobs, MOM