So last night at First Wednesday service, Pastor Chuck, our senior pastor, talked a moment about how many youth were present and really engaging God through worship and just really bragged on them for a moment.

He talked about how strong our youth ministry was and how people’s lives were bing changed. It was awesome to see those students and hear them be acknowledged. God really has done some amazing things in our youth ministry here.

But then he turned to praise in my direction and began to talk about how great of a job I was doing and how well I was leading them. He said I was one of the main reasons youth was so great at NCC. Man, that felt good.

It feels good to be affirmed. It feels good to hear that praise in public. It made me want to work harder and lead even better.

When he came to sit down, I told him something that I genuinely believe. I said, “It is easy to lead well when you are led well.”

I have never been led as well as I have been here. And really, a strong youth ministry is a result of that leading, I would say even more than my leading. I am at a church where they care more about me than my task or assignment. They care about how far I go and how effective I am in my purpose. They take that responsibility to help me reach my highest potential in Christ Jesus seriously.

Youth is going well, and that is true because there have been countless meetings behind the scenes where my leaders have poured into me. They have sent me for training, they have invested in my abilities and talents, they have unpacked into me everything they knew. But even more than investing in what I could do, they invested in who I could become.

See, there were meetings that were hard, where they revealed blind spots in me and uncovered wounds in me. There were times when I didn’t really want to deal with an issue or an attitude or a situation. But they loved me too much to not press in. I soon realized that they weren’t being mean, they were being contractors. They saw my ceiling and refused to let me stop at it. So they began working in me to raise my ceiling. Sometimes I felt bare and exposed, but every meeting and every hard conversation expanded my potential to a new height.

I can lead well because I have been led well.

My question is who is leading you? Who are you allowing to speak into your life? Who is helping you see blindspots and address problem areas in your life? Who have you contracted to raise the ceiling of your potential? If you don’t have someone, find someone as soon as possible. I need my leaders and you need a leader too.

Truth is, love is not letting me be me but, rather, helping me be more than I thought I could be. Love is a hard conversation. Love is willing to bring up something that may hurt. There is a reason that the Bible tells us “faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

I love where I am in life right now. It is a good place. A great place. And while there are still sometimes hard meetings and moments of correction, I know these moments are borne out of love and designed to help me reach God’s potential for my life.

I have often said one of my greatest fears is that I will stand before God one day, and he will tell me he gave me this much to do, so why did I only accomplished a portion. Whatever God has for me, I want to do it all. I want to do everything I can for him on this side of heaven. I know that God knows that about me, and I am sure you feel the same way about your own potential. Thankfully, God gave me people to help me accomplish that. He gave me great leaders. They are a huge part of why I can lead well.

A large part of leading well is being willing to be led. Who is leading you? If you don’t have someone, find someone. And if you do, embrace their guidance knowing that not only will you be a better leader, but you will make a greater impact.