Passing the baton

One of the most meaningful gifts I've ever recieved, I received from two of my former bosses. I showed up to Fellowship Bible Church North (ahem... Chase Oaks Church) as a burned out, disillusioned pastor who had been beaten up and spit out by a former boss. I took a "residency" position there, where I was rejuvenated and equipped, and where I rethought and sharpened my ministry philosophy.
At the end of my time at Chase Oaks, my two bosses Drew and Glen took Kari and I to dinner where they presented us with a baton... you know, the type runners use in a relay race.

The imagery comes from a book some of the pastors at Chase Oaks authored several years ago called "The Leadership Baton." The idea is pretty simple - as leaders we need to constantly be in the process of passing the baton to people who will come after us.
Today I've got a runners baton sitting on my desk, but it's not the one Drew and Glen gave me. When they gave me mine, they told me it wasn't for me - it was for the person who would come after me. So, when I showed up at McKinney, I started looking for someone who could take it, and passed it off as soon as I was able. And, I gave all of our ministry team leaders batons to start looking to pass off to someone else.

This weekend as we announced plans to plant a new Young Married group, each of those batons completed their first leg. The leaders of that class each signed their batons and dated them, put a note of encouragement inside them, and then passed them off to a new leadership team. This week, I'm giving the established leadership team brand new batons. They're not done running, just looking for new people to pour in to.

Building a healthy culture where leaders develop leaders is imperative to our ministry. If you play by the numbers, our ministry has twice as many developed, empowered, and commissioned leaders today. And if each of those leaders are looking for people to build into, the ministry will be in a much better place.