Jonathan Dorst met me in a bar. We were playing shuffleboard. Guys night took place on Wednesdays at Stonewall because you could buy pitchers for $5 and play shuffleboard. He didn’t do anything profound, he just met me in a bar. A preacher stuck his hand out to me while I was in a place that had no intentions of discussing anything with a preacher. It just so happened, after my wife and I were married that she asked me to go to church again. I hadn’t been consistently in years, even though I had led a Bible study and grew up in church.
Who’s the pastor?
It was that simple for me. While it may have thrown Kristin off, I at least knew I was going to meet with an intentional man. He meant to be real in all facets of his life. You see, leadership filters down. If the middle man is trying to change the world, he will always lose his job or move on to a place where he or she is appreciated. In this experience, leadership filtered from Jonathan Dorst, to Mike Dodson, and then to J.J. Grantham. It influenced me in very personal ways. The leader of the church had a vision for himself and his followers, and he built them.
How often do we build relationships? I’m working on that. It isn’t just at work or the people that are hard to build relationships with. I see it as being authentic. When I ask someone how they are doing, I stop to see what the response is. When someone asks me how I am doing, I try to give an honest response. Situations such as this exude authenticity. That’s what matters to people who aren’t in church. It isn’t as much about you being friendly as it is that you are real. How often are we real? Say an honest, real comment to a question someone asks in a meeting, at work, or Bible study and see what happens. That’s real. Back to relationships. If we built them on the premise of being real, authentic, and caring I think Church would be different. Its leaders and, more specifically, its followers, would be different.
Do we build followers? I’m working on that. The world doesn’t build followers, it builds subordinates. Even the Christian parts of the world build subordinates. Ever play sports? I’d argue that you were a subordinate. Oh, that’s right, you were a follower of a coach you loved. How often was that relationship really based on love and not fear? Yes, yes that is a different premise. If you built followers in your friends, at work, in your household, how would it be different? Mine is ever-changing as I figure it out, I’ll tell you that. I’m fallible.
We moved from Stillwater in 2007 and my heart broke for a church when we left Grace Stillwater, until 2011 when I met Doug Serven at a (you guessed it, beer tasting event). My brother went with me.
Your preacher drinks beer?
Ok. I’ve never seen that before. He was real.
My heart is still being repaired via City Pres, its people, Doug Serven, Bobby Griffith, Josh Spears, Brian Carlozzi, Mike Dodson, Matt Austin, Jeremy Burt, and several others I continue to meet. It’s real. A real church where the leaders send information, build relationships, and in turn, followers of Christ. What if we allowed the leadership to purely filter down? What if it extends from the message on Sunday and the conversations throughout the week, to real-life application? Mine is changing, I’ll tell you that. Be intentional with your relationships.