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Lead Where You're Planted

It was a moment that changed my life. I pulled up a chair next to my pastor while at a retreat. The group was discussing who she was considering for the new Youth Director. My ears perked up; I had two teens of my own in that youth group. I pressed her for a name, several times in fact, when she finally turned her head to look me in the eye. “Actually, Namra… (pause for effect) we were considering you!” I kid you not, I literally fell off my chair! Boom! Right on the floor! She helped me up and we talked details. A month later, I stood in front of the youth group for the first time, shaking in my boots! I was untrained and inexperienced. And let me tell you, nothing will make you doubt your potential as a leader like a group of teenagers! Weeks later, I still couldn’t shake this question rolled around in my head: “But who am I, Lord? What do I have that you could use as a leader?” That summer, I took some of my seniors to a leadership conference (leadership- see where God’s going with this?). As we walked into the auditorium, I could “read the writing on the wall.” Seriously…there was a huge banner nailed to the wall. And on it, the theme of the conference:

“You are CALLED and EQUIPPED to be a difference-maker in this world, for the glory of God!”

Holy cow, God was speaking to me! After that week, my whole way of thinking began to change. With these words as my daily affirmation, I began to trust that maybe God hadn’t made a mistake, and maybe He had been training me for this my whole life. God loves to place ordinary people in ordinary places to accomplish extraordinary things. I tell you my story in hopes that you see your story, too. Looking at your life circumstances and the people God has surrounded you with, could it be that it is no accident you are there? Could the words on that banner be just what you need to hear, too? “You have been called…”

God has placed you somewhere…

“And equipped…”

to use what you already have.

“To be a difference-maker…”

to lead someone…

“For the glory of God.”

to Him.

What do you think? Do you see yourself called to be a leader? If not, then why? Do you feel equipped for the job? Where has God planted you? Who do you have in your life that needs you to lead? What's holding you back? Sometimes the label of “leader” gets in the way. To help you move past that, try some of these synonyms on instead:

  • A parent guides

  • A spouse influences

  • A big sister trail-blazes

  • A friend accompanies

  • A neighbor protects

  • A store clerk directs

  • A custodian manages

  • A teacher motivates

The disciples were just fishermen. David was just a shepherd. And Jesus was a craftsman/stonemason. (If you were taught He was a carpenter, don’t fret…check out this post for some clarification: What If Your Boss Wasn’t A Jewish Carpenter) Wherever God has planted you, you too can lead! He loves to use ordinary people in ordinary places.

Imagine a road sign. We are built to be like road signs, guiding people to God. A road sign doesn’t wonder if it is enough or if it has what it takes to show the way. The Creator of that sign made it ahead of time with care and clarity of purpose; One letter at a time and one experience at a time. By the time it is planted where it is needed, it is already “equipped” to guide the weary traveler Home. And it doesn’t need to be fancy or flashy to make a difference; It just needs to stand tall, be brave, and lead the way. Each of us has a calling to be a “road sign”; In our families, in our friend groups, in the grocery store, on the city council or even in a high school youth group! Ephesians 2:10 NCV says, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” Take this truth, my friends, and believe it in your heart. Let it grow into the boldness and courage you will need. Wherever God has planted you, He has also prepared you. With Holy Spirit in you, people will see God and all His glory. And that will make all the difference. Shalom,

Namra P.

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