For many years, I was a confessed “leadershipaholic.” With a desire to be as effective and influential as possible for Christ, I devoured all the latest and greatest expertise from Christian and non-Christian gurus. Naturally, I hoped to be more respected, productive, and validated as a “leader.”I was also a “visionaholic, ”working hard to borrow all the best ideas from other successful ministries so I could inspire the congregation with the bigger and better ideas the Lord had “laid on my heart” in order for our church to continue to grow our numbers and expand our impact. Common wisdom stated that the bigger the dream, the clearer the path, and the more long-term the plans—the better the leader.
It was 3:30 a.m. and, rather than fighting the sudden insomnia attack, I decided to get up, read my Bible, and pray. I opened to the beginning of I Samuel. The words of the child Samuel rang through my head (and heart), “Here I am Lord, your servant is listening.” So I prayed. I prayed for a mission field. I asked God if he was going to send me to China, or Africa, or the Amazon. I told God that I wanted to change the world for Him, and that I’d go anywhere He wanted to send me.