I Am Not A Leader

Originally published Thursday, 02 February 2012.


I graduated from Moody Bible Institute with high honors and a degree in Women’s Ministry and Communications. As an undergraduate, I led a women’s small group, mentored in a low-income neighborhood, served at my local church, sang on worship teams, led a year-long campaign project to raise support for rescued child soldiers, volunteered at a hostel ministry overseas, and more.

So what am I doing right now, two years beyond graduation?

None of those things.

I am married, but we have no children. 

I work, but exclusively from my home office or the local coffee shops. 

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, but most of my time there is spent stuffing envelopes and answering phones.

I go to church, but I do not serve or volunteer.

At this stage in my life, I am not a leader in any capacity. And for right now, I think that’s okay. Influence does not always take the face of a high-powered career, a thriving ministry, a “dream job,” or a vibrant social platform. Ministry is not always conventional or quantifiable.

My current and chosen focus is to be faithful in the simple and the small, to say “yes” to God in a million everyday, seemingly inconsequential choices, that will shape my spirit over time. I believe these everyday obediences will be foundational to the rest of my life, propelling me forward with growing momentum into His purpose. I am not drifting or biding my time; I am building something: a marriage, a home, a career, a ministry, and a life.

I choose to live my days dwelling in the truth that Zach and I are reenacting the Trinity within our marriage. This sounds all very eloquent, but it takes practice, patience and many tangles and mess-ups along the way. But I am fully convinced that our daily love reflects  this mystery of Christ’s love for the church, and like this love, our marriage is never intended to be isolated and ingrown, but rather produce an outflow of love and service to those around us. If I can be first faithful in embodying “the most excellent way” (1 Cor. 13) in my marriage, my ministry will be a natural outflow of this love. So for now, I practice. I try. I fail. I try again.

I choose to work from home, and I feel incredibly privileged to carry out a ministry of words every Monday through Friday. Every article I write, every book I edit, every publicity campaign I manage, I try to integrate with my philosophy of language which is patterned after the Incarnation. I named my business (In)dialogue Communications, because Christ began a dialogue with the world and now it becomes my charge to speak life and truth as He did. I used to flinch at the marketing label, but I choose to make it ministry. I choose to serve, not sell.

I choose to serve at a local crisis pregnancy center, trusting that God is at work through even the smallest tasks of greeting girls walking in from the high school across the street on their lunch periods. I choose to believe that my prayer over the recipients of community mailings, my editing of the ministry newsletter, matters.

I chose not to serve at our local church, after initially looking into helping with the youth group and learning that two evenings a week would be required of me. As much as I wanted to be involved in this ministry, I did not think it would be wise to give up two evenings a week apart from my husband in our first year of marriage.

Leadership. Influence. These are the buzzwords, and they are important. But if you are willing, God will work just as powerfully through your drudge work, your day job, your behind-the-scenes service, and your faithfulness in the small. Choose to believe that as you are intentionally and faithfully building a life, He is shaping you into something He can fill.