When I had been in ministry for thirty-three years, over twenty of those in Colorado Springs at the church I had planted and grown, a group of men, who I thought I knew, decided it was time for me to be replaced as the lead pastor. It threw me into a spiral of deep sadness, fear and anxiety. I saw betrayal around every corner. The future was dark, sinister and foreboding.
But the days passed with hours of prayer walking, thinking and conversations. Oh, the conversation around my fire pit with some of the best men I’ve ever known. One day after several months, I looked in the mirror and I saw hope again in the eyes that looked back at me. And I started the next phase of my life.
I am a believer in the power of conversation. I’m a believer in the power of being vulnerable. Drive, creativity and joy flows from vulnerability with trusted brothers. I believe in it not the way a child would with naive trust, but knowing full well the perils and pitfalls of a world that can hurt you deeply.
Today I had an unexpected conversation at my athletic club. It was with Derek Sissel, the lead pastor of Gateway Church. As he shared of his sordid background, one that includes an extended family of 21 divorces, I was filled with joy and hope. His story of redemption encouraged my heart deeply. I was reminded once again of the power of vulnerability and the victory it brings to the soul.
Today, I’m filled with optimism, joy and faith. Pastor Sissel, like so many other men in my life, gave me courage and inspiration. I hope you are having conversations with people in your life who inspire you into creativity, hope and passion.
On the road,