Links for Leaders 4/28/17

It’s the weekend. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Here are 6 articles & podcasts I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Ever wonder what is holding you back in your life or leadership? Here are 7 things that if eliminated, will raise the lid of your life and leadership.

I always tell leaders and couples they need to find someone older, further down the road than they are and learn from them. Here’s a list of 22 things one pastor learned after 42 years in ministry. This is gold. Thanks for sharing Ron.

It is easy as a leader to keep running faster and faster and not deal with the things in your heart and soul. Chuck Lawless has 10 questions every leader should ask each week, that I found to be incredibly helpful.

As kids get older, they need certain adults in their life to help them grow and mature, not only as people, but as followers of Jesus. A parent plays a crucial role in this. Kara Powell shares some great insights on this podcast about who these adults are.

We all know that the best work is accomplished when we are able to focus and concentrate. We don’t have our best ideas when we are multi-tasking and running from one thing to the next, but we rarely make time or schedule time to focus. Here are 3 ideas from a great book called Deep Work that will help you with that. 

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you know that I love books and think reading is the key to growth and success in life and leadership. But how important is reading? Does it really move the needle that much? Here’s the answer.

Links for Leaders 4/14/17

It’s the weekend. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Here are 5 articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Is missing church a big deal? Is it a sin? Does it matter if you and your family miss church on a Sunday morning? Sarah Piercy, has some great insight into that question and what you do miss when you miss church.

My kids are about to become teenagers so we are talking through what parenting teenagers looks like. What does social media look like for our family, what our their privileges, rights, things that are off limits, etc. This article from Jon Acuff on 5 rules for Instagram was particularly helpful.

What is the most important leadership trait? If you asked a room full of leaders this question, you would get a host of different answers. While situations matter as to what trait is needed, some of them rise to the top and cover all situations. Scott Cochrane points out one of those traits.

Do you work with any difficult people? Are you related to any difficult people? All of us do at some point and dealing with them can be difficult, but also an incredibly defining point in our relationships and leadership. Travis Bradberry shares some tips on handling difficult people.

Everyone is talking about work and life balance. We all feel overwhelmed, busy and rundown. What if, as the Harvard Business Review recently shared, that device free time is just as important as work/life balance?

Links for Leaders 4/7/17

It’s the weekend. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Here are 4 articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

John Maxwell has noted, “There is a difference between problem solving and problem spotting.” While we need people around us to point out problems, we benefit for them being on the solution side of the problem and not merely ones who make it their mission to uncover problems for other people to solve. How though? Eric Geiger shares 3 problems leaders face and how to handle them.

Easter is coming. Most churches have planned well and are ready for the surge of guests that will come, but many churches are not. Brandon Kelley has 3 vital pieces for planning your Easter services well.

Many leaders are tired, worn out, their head is spinning with all the ideas they have and the things they need to do. They pour themselves out in sermons, classes, counseling sessions and meetings. They are constantly producing and trying to keep up with what is next. The solution? According to Charles Stone (and I’d agree) it is silence and solitude.

Pastors face enormous pressures. Some of them are from their family of origin, from their churches, their spouse, their own heads and some are even imagined pressures. The reality is, if you don’t learn to deal with those pressures, they will destroy you and your ministry. This is a powerful reminder from Brian Dodd and has one of the most powerful quotes I’ve ever read: “Fatigue is from claiming promises that weren’t yours to claim.”

Links for Leaders 3/31/17

It’s the weekend. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Here are 4 articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Speaking is hard work, whether you do it every week in a church, for students in a classroom or once a month if your office. If you do speak, here are 3 ways to cope with the stress of speaking from Dr. Nick Morgan.

Easter is coming and for every pastor and church, that means higher attendance and more guests. Many pastors start planning for Easter too late in the year. If that’s you (or even if you’ve planned ahead), Steve Fogg has 3 communication mistakes to avoid as a church this Easter.

We are about to enter the teen years of parenting and like most parents entering this stage, we are doing so with a healthy dose of excitement and fear. One of the things Katie and I have talked a lot about is what to do when our kids are somewhere else, how to stay in touch, how to help them navigate peer pressure and situations that make them uncomfortable. In short, how to create an escape plan for your teen.

Every leader wants to be productive, to accomplish things, cross things off of their to-do list, but as a leader, there seems to be a never ending stream of things that need your attention, fires that need to be put out and always one more thing to do. For many, we end up wasting a lot of time. Doing what? Chuck Lawless gives us 10 times wasters for most leaders.

How Leadership Capacity Affects the Growth & Health of a Church

Recently I had a conversation with my leadership coach, and he made the comment, “Josh, Revolution has the ability to grow past 600 in the next five years, but the question is, do you have the capacity for that? Are you willing to do what it takes to make that happen?”

Now, we all know that God is the one who grows a church, but often that church is healthy and growing because of the character, quality and capacity of the lead pastor and leaders.

First, do you have the desire for your church to grow and be healthy? Do you have the desire to see your people become more like Jesus? Many pastors have a desire for a crowd, but that is different. Having a desire to see your people grow in holiness, passion for God and for their neighbor will shape your leadership and preaching.

While desire matters, or I should say rightly placed desires, that alone won’t grow a church.

It will take effort, work, time, and sacrifice.

This will be seen in the time you put into prayer, sermon prep, personal growth as a leader, what you are willing to sacrifice in terms of comfort or even what you’d like your job to be. Some of that sacrifice comes in the day to day of meeting with people, of shepherding and walking with them. Being willing to be a pastor and not a rock star preacher.

Hustle is a popular word in entrepreneur circles and one that needs to get some airtime in pastoring circles. Not in an effort to burn out, but in an effort to work hard for something that matters.

Mike Myatt, in his book Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly, says, “The difference between good and great often comes down to discipline.”

Are you disciplined in how you spend your time, how you spend your money, what you eat, how much sleep you get? Do you determine who you will spend your time with and who you won’t? All of those things determine your leadership capacity. They determine the energy levels you have, the spiritual reserves you have to pull from when leading and pastoring and the kind of leader you are at home and at work.

When every minute is accounted for and given a name, things get done and less time is wasted.

This doesn’t mean you need to be fanatical, but you have 24 hours in a day, a short life ahead of you and a shorter ministry time, so use it wisely. Honor God with it.

The Weight & Joy of Being a Pastor: Leading People on Mission

I love being a pastor. It is exhilarating, tiring, exhausting, joyful and painful, all rolled into one.

For me, it is the greatest job.

Is it hard? Yes. But one I love. If you’ve missed any of the weights or joys I’ve covered, you can see them here: Preaching God’s word every weekYou can’t change peopleGod’s call on your lifeSeeing life changePeople under you are counting on youGod using youWhat God thinks of youCommunicating God’s word and Loneliness.

The last joy is…

Joy #5: People Getting the Mission.

Closely tied to seeing life change is seeing people get the mission and sacrifice for it.

Every week I am blown away by how hard working and dedicated our volunteers are at Revolution, many of them putting in hours every week to make Revolution happen. People who show up early Sunday mornings to set up for church, who prepare for worship, REVkids and REVstudents through the week, REVcommunity leaders who open up their lives and homes to people throughout the week. All in an effort to help people take their next step with God.

Everything that our team members do frees up everyone else to do what they do. I am able to do what I do because our team members put in the time that they do to free me up.

When people sacrifice financially for the mission, I am humbled. When people sell stuff to give the proceeds back to God, I am humbled. When people cash in savings to give back to God, I am humbled. When people give their time, money and efforts, that is buy in. That means people get the mission.

When people see themselves as missionaries in their neighborhoods, schools and offices, they are getting it. When people light up after a conversation with their friend about Jesus or the first time they bring a guest to church.

It never gets old.

When people show up at 7 am to set up road signs so people can find their way to church, when people stay late to clean up, to pray with people, when people take time out of their week to lead a group and to shepherd and care for people, that is buy in.

You can’t force it, you can’t guilt people into buy in (at least buy in that lasts). When people get it and the church does what the church is supposed to do, as a pastor, it is the greatest joy. To see it, to be a part of it, to lead it, makes it all worth it.

How to Build a Healthy Elder Team

If there is one thing pastors know well, it is the pain that can stem from a poorly run elder team. Long meetings, arguments, back stabbing, meetings outside of the meeting, gossip, politicking. The list goes on and on.

On the other side, you hear about elder teams that care for each other, love and serve the church well, care for the pastors and their families and work together to fulfill what God has called the church to. This side of the equation is seen by many pastors as a unicorn. There are rumors, sightings and rumblings, but few actually realize it.

Those elder teams do exist, but they take specific steps to get there.

Here are seven things you must do as a pastor to build a healthy elder culture.

1. Make building a healthy elder team/culture a priority.

Too many lead pastors don’t make this a priority, and their elder team and the culture of that team shows how little effort this gets. In fact, in many churches the lead pastor has little to no say who is on the elder team, yet that team determines more about the health of the church than almost every other team.

If your by-laws have a nominating committee that doesn’t include the lead pastor, change your by-laws. If you have a nominating committee for your elder team, change your by-laws and take that out. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

For too long at our church I saw leadership development as something that would just happen because I cared about leadership, but for leaders to be developed and a culture to be built, the lead pastor must carry the flag. Don’t mistake this, a culture will be built, whether you try or not, so make building a healthy culture a priority.

Why does this have to be a priority?

A healthy elder team brings security, health, care and development to the whole church. When the elder team knows what it is doing (and not doing), when they care for the staff and leaders well, when they are connecting to new people in the church, praying with and for the church, protecting the church, keeping them on track with the vision as well as financially and doctrinally, everyone wins.

When this doesn’t happen, you see carnage, hurt, pain and disillusionment all over the church.

2. Know what you are looking for in an elder.

If you ask most people in a church what an elder does, you will hear a few different answers. Those answers determine what you will get in an elder team.

They should be financially and business minded. In this case, the elders act more like a board of directors simply checking and balancing things.

You will hear someone pull out 1 Peter 5 and talk about shepherding and pastoring. This team is highly relational, caring and functions to make sure the church is warm, discipled and no one falls through the cracks.

Eventually someone will pull out 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 and talk about the qualifications of an elder.

Many pastors simply look for friends to put on their elder team because they know the carnage that can happen if they have enemies on that team.

You will find whatever you are looking for in an elder, so look wisely and know ahead of time what you are looking for.

Does an elder preach? Counsel? Make budgets? Decisions? Do they shepherd everyone? Are they there to protect the pastor? Protect the church from the pastor? (I had an elder say that once.)

Again, your answer will determine what you get because you will go looking for that.

An elder is a man with character, someone who fits the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5.

An elder is a man who will protect the church, who will keep the church on mission and on track financially and doctrinally. A man who can see the whole field of the church.

This last part, seeing the whole field of the church, is one of the most important things to ask when considering someone to be an elder. Someone can be a great community group leader but not a good elder. Someone can be a good businessman but not a good elder. Someone might be a great volunteer in an area, but that’s the lid of their leadership. None of those are bad things. In fact, they are good things. It just means someone is not an elder.

Too many times we put the wrong people on that bus. We think, “He’s a good shepherd, so he should be an elder.” But as a church grows, shepherding isn’t the only thing an elder does. They also oversee staff and budgets (that begin to have a lot of zeros after them). Other times we think, “He’s good with numbers, but he might be a jerk.” You need to know.

3. Always be on the lookout.

You as the lead pastor are always on the lookout for great leaders for every part of your church. The moment you stop, the moment you delegate this, is the moment your church begins to suffer.

You must also have your antennae up for the guns blazing awesome guy who comes into your church and can hurt your church.

4. Start training an elder three years before they become an elder.

If you take responsibility to always be on the lookout, you will begin training an elder well before they become an elder to see if they can handle it. Give them leadership and shepherding opportunities to see how they handle them. Give them decision making responsibilities to see how it goes.

I lead a leadership development group every week with up and coming leaders in our church. Every elder in our church goes through this group. I want to see them interact with a group, argue over a case study, discuss theology, see if they’ll be on time for a meeting, if they’ll come prepared, speak up in a discussion, watch how others interact with them and see if they have the respect of the group.

This is so important, has low risk for the church but brings so much fruit.

5. Have a long process to become an elder.

Why a long process? Honestly, protection.

Three years allow you to see a man’s character, his marriage (if married), his parenting (if he has kids), his generosity and desire to live on mission. You hear him pray. You watch him serve. Read #2 again. You can’t know if you someone meets the qualifications in a month.

Three years also bring perseverance. A wolf who will destroy your church and eat the sheep won’t wait around that long; they’ll move on.

This process also helps you know if someone has what it takes to be an elder.

Now, they aren’t in a process for three years (at least not officially), but you should make someone be at your church at least two years before they become an elder. What’s the rush?

Depending on what you determine you are looking for in an elder, what they will do (and this changes some as a church grows), your process must help you see if someone can do that job. Don’t be swayed by charisma, a desire to not be alone, filling a spot or keeping a big giver. Those do not end well.

6. Know how unique an elder is and what they do.

Elders do what no one else in the church does.

Yes, they serve, shepherd, pray, evangelize, give and disciple. That’s a role all Christians play.

But elders do something that is unique and builds into #7: they shepherd and care for the lead pastor and his family. This is unique.

Many people in the church care about the lead pastor and his family. Many people are fans of his and put him on a pedestal. Elders, though, see the man for who he is. They know him and his struggles. They know his hurts, pressures, frustrations and joys.

This doesn’t mean the lead pastor is special, only that his role is unique. Not everyone can shepherd and care for him. Most people are used to getting something from a pastor, so it is hard to think differently about the lead pastor. But it is a crucial, yet often overlooked role of elders.

When an elder team is working well and fulfills this, it brings great joy to a pastor and his family. This joy is felt throughout the church. This does not happen over night and takes training.

7. Always (almost) keep paid pastors off the elder team.

I expect some disagreement on this, but hear me out. Some churches make any paid pastor an elder. The qualifications for an elder and pastor are the same. I get it.

Here’s the dilemma.

The lead pastor leads the staff, is the boss of the staff. On an elder team, he’s one of the team. Yes, first among equals, but elders do not have power apart from the team.

It is very difficult for a student pastor or worship pastor to sit in a meeting with the lead pastor on Tuesday morning and be reviewed, be given an assignment, and then on Tuesday night sit in a meeting where they are equals in that meeting.

Are there exceptions? Yes, but less than you think. It is difficult for everyone to change the hats they wear. It is also difficult to discuss the salary and benefits of people sitting in the room.

The Weight & Joy of Being a Pastor: Loneliness

If you talk to any pastor or his wife and ask them about friends, more than likely you will get a sad, longing look. Many pastors and their wives are lonely. They have been betrayed, hurt, and left out.

As I’ve been sharing the weights and joys (Preaching God’s word every weekYou can’t change peopleGod’s call on your lifeSeeing life changePeople under you are counting on youGod using youWhat God thinks of you and Communicating God’s word) of being a pastor, the loneliness a pastor and his wife experience can be unique to this role.

Weight #5: Loneliness

Why is this true? Because you are a part of the community you are leading, and it is hard for you and for them to change hats. When you are the pastor, you are always the pastor. People always see you this way. You always see them as someone you lead, care for and shepherd.

This is kind of the culmination of the previous four. I think one of the biggest weights that many pastors carry is the weight of loneliness. What we do is not a job, it is a calling. I heard someone once say, “If you want a job, go get one; this one gets you.”

As pastors, not only do we carry the weight of a job (bills, staff, expectations, workload, church happening every week), but we also carry the confidentiality that comes with it; knowing the truth in many situations but not being able to share it.

Much of what a pastor does is in the context of being alone. While pastors are learning how to include other leaders in vision and preaching, which is important, and pastors are also releasing power and responsibility to other leaders so that others help to carry the load, which is also good, the reality is, the pastor still carries much of the weight of the church. The pastor and his family are often the ones attacked by those in the church, outside the church and Satan.

This was not clear to me before becoming a lead pastor. For me, spiritual warfare and attacks from people were there but not something that happened a lot. In my house, you can always tell when it is Saturday night as Satan seems to do whatever he can to throw off my rhythm, put a wedge in between Katie and me, and do what he can to keep our kids from sleeping. I grew up in a church environment that believed in spiritual warfare and demons but didn’t give a lot of credence to it. While the other end of the spectrum sees a demon behind every door, spiritual warfare for me growing up was left more to what Satan did to tempt you. When we lower spiritual warfare, we also lower the need for the power of God. It is possible, though, to fixate too much on spiritual warfare and attacks, to see a demon around every corner, and for that to become the focus of our lives. There is a balance that is needed.

The reality of this is that it is lonely. One person gets up in front of their church and opens God’s Word [add link]. It is weighty, there is a lot riding on it, God is working in people’s lives and eternity is literally at stake. That is weighty and often lonely.

When people attack the pastor, where do they turn? When the pastor is weighed down by things, where do they turn? What about the pastor’s spouse? This is often the most difficult position in the entire church. They see what is said about their spouse, they hear it, they feel the pain, they see the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, and are often unsure of what to do.

For Katie and me, we’ve developed some things that help.

  • Retreat day. Once a month I do a spiritual retreat day. This is a time for God to refresh me, speak and listen. I go with my Bible, a journal and some worship music, and that’s it.
  • Sabbath. I cannot say enough about how important it is to set aside one day a week to just stop. Even though it is all over the Bible, Christians everywhere, especially pastors, pretend that it is a suggestion.
  • Meet with a counselor or spiritual director. I can always tell when it is time. (Scratch that. Katie can always tell when it is time.) My pastoral counselor or spiritual director helps in discerning where God is moving, what He is saying and how to sort through the last month and the feelings that go with life. This is important because pastors are good at doing this for others but not for themselves.
  • Have people praying for you. Katie and I have people in our church and outside of our church praying for different things. This is huge and often overlooked.
  • Be low key on Saturday. Since church is on Sunday, we try to make Saturday night fun and low key. We don’t have any intense, serious conversations, we avoid stressful situations and do something fun and relaxing. And get some sleep!
  • Have friends. Get some men around you who understand. Too many pastors are walking it alone. Get some people who understand the weight of it, let them encourage you, lift you up in prayer and just generally be there.

6 Things to do When Someone Insults You

insults

You know the conversation. Someone in your church asks to meet with you, or you set up the meeting because you know they are angry at you, the church or a decision that was made.

The conversation is going well. You are making some headway and figuring out what the issues are (which is really important), and then the unexpected happens.

Not really unexpected.

You should have seen it coming.

The insults. The ‘several people’ comments. The, “I’ve asked around” comments.

What do you do? Do you defend your honor? Pushback? Take it like a man? Try to win?

If you as a pastor have not found yourself in this conversation, it is coming. When it happens, here are six things to keep in mind:

1. It will surprise you who it is. This is always the case. You will be blown away at who is angry at you and who hurls insults at you. Whenever I’ve made a change or decision at our church, the people who are mad and leave over it are never the ones I expected. In the same way, the ones who will criticize you unfairly, spread rumors about you, talk to a “bunch of other people about an issue” will surprise you. They will not be who you expect.

This is one reason it hurts so much when it happens.

2. Don’t stoop to their level. It is easy in this situation to defend your honor, try to win (this is my default mode), prove your point, point out their shortcomings and sin (because they are there), or try to explain yourself. More than likely, in this meeting (there might be a second one) they are simply wanting to vent and “get something off their chest.” For the person this meeting is often not about reconciliation, understanding your perspective or seeing that they might be wrong. That will hopefully come later, but the reality is, they have been angry for quite some time and they have some pent up anger.

3. Listen as best as you can and figure out what the actual issue is. Often, not always, but often when someone comes and says, “I’m leaving _____ church because…” Or, “I’m angry because ________”, those are rarely the issues. They think they are the issues, but they aren’t. People will give you a reason for leaving your church that you won’t be able to argue with. This is the reason why “I’m not getting fed enough” or “God told me to leave” are such popular reasons.

In seminary I took one counseling class, and I got the best piece of advice in my entire seminary experience. A professor told me, “When someone’s life is out of control, they have sin in their life they can’t handle, they are angry at their spouse, parent, child, boss or feel letdown in life and don’t know what to do, they take their anger out on the closest authority figure they can find, and that tends to be a pastor and the church.”

I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve had over the years with people who want to leave the church I lead or meet with me because they are angry at a decision we made, and more than half the meeting is about what frustrates them about their spouse, parent or child.

Once you are able to determine what you think is the real issue, start talking about that. Help them to see what the real issue is. This isn’t always possible. You might be told that isn’t the issue, but if your gut tells you that is the issue, it usually is.

4. If they want to leave your church, let them. As a pastor you want everyone possible to be a part of your church. Why? Because you love and care for them. You’ve walked with them, labored over sermons for them, prayed for them, listened to them, seen them grow, discipled them. You don’t want them to leave. It hurts every time it happens.

But it happens.

Don’t try to talk someone out of leaving your church.

Now, if they are leaving for a bad reason, tell them. If they are leaving for an immature reason, tell them.

But don’t stop them.

Why?

That might be God’s way of protecting you.

If they met with you and are angry at you, hurling insults at you (yes, people say horrible things to pastors), and they say they want to leave your church, don’t try to talk them out of it.

In fact, and this might be controversial so hear me out, you might need to encourage them to leave your church.

Their staying might not be healthy for them, their family, for you or the church.

5. Debrief with someone you trust, who loves you, to find the truth in what was said. The meeting is over and you feel like you have been punched in the gut (hopefully only figuratively).

The reality is, the person who talked with you might be right, they just did it in the worst way possible. So, you have to find the truth. Is what they said on target? Do you have any sin or shortcomings you need to confess or work on? Don’t waste what was said simply because it hurt or you don’t agree. They might be right, or at least partly right.

6. Reconcile to the best of your ability. It isn’t always possible or healthy to have a second meeting. It can easily become the two of you trying to remember what all was said. If you need to reconcile over an issue, try to. The other person may not want to, and you don’t always need to talk to them to reconcile it, but you need to make sure you don’t allow them to take up space in your heart over an issue.

The Weight & Joy of Being a Pastor: Communicating God’s Word

One of the best parts of being a pastor (or a Christian for that matter) is seeing God use you. There is nothing like using the gifts God has given to you.

Recently I’ve been sharing some of the weights and joys of being a pastor to help people who attend church understand what it is like to be a pastor and how they can support their pastor and his family, but also to encourage pastors to keep going and not give up, as so many do.

Being a pastor is unique. It isn’t harder than another job, just different.

If you’ve missed any of the weights or joys I’ve covered, you can see them here: Preaching God’s word every weekYou can’t change peopleGod’s call on your lifeSeeing life changePeople under you are counting on youGod using you and What God thinks of you.

Joy #4: Communicating God’s Word

While this is a weight that pastors carry, this is also a joy.

To have the ability to open God’s Word and share it with others is a huge joy. To have people come to hear what God is saying through his Word and you is unbelievable. It is humbling, holy and scary all at the same time. For me, because teaching is one of my top gifts, I love being able to preach every week.

I love to see the way God chooses to use the work that I have put in and the time I have labored on a talk. It is something that is difficult to describe. It goes back to God using us.

For me, a sermon starts about six to eight months before I preach it. I lay out where I feel God is taking our church over the coming year and begin meditating on those passages, researching, finding articles, books and commentaries to see what others have to say on those topics. By the time I get up to preach something, I have been sitting with that topic for quite some time. To see more of how I prep a sermon, you can read that process here.

I am always blown away at how, even though we plan in advance, our church seems to be in the place where what I’m preaching on is what they need. Countless times God has shown up where we are going through what I’m preaching on. I used to be surprised.

By far this is more work, but at the same time it is so worth it. To be a part of God’s work in the world in this way makes what I do worth it.

Too many pastors, while they enjoy preaching, get lazy at it. They don’t plan ahead, they are trying to figure out Saturday night what to say instead of getting a good night’s sleep. They simply download someone else’s ideas instead of doing the hard work of figuring out what God wants to say to the church they serve. Or, they get up and say too many things instead of doing the hard work of editing.

Preaching is a weight, and according to the New Testament something you will get judged twice for. So if you preach, it is a joy as well as a weight. If it is not a joy, do something else in your church, or ask God to make preaching a joy to you.

When you see this task as a joyful weight, you finally get it. In that moment, a lot changes as a communicator. You are humbled by the opportunity, how God works but also that God will move through your prayers, confession and study. Those are never wasted in this weighty joy.