A piece of advice given by a mentor long ago was this: Remember where you came from. Too often we can forget where we came from, how we got where we are, or lose big part of who we are. This past week I was able to serve at a camp I grew up at. Sitting by a camp fire, it was fun to share this same wisdom with new emerging leaders.
Old fun stories matter
Sharing fun stories can bring about profound thoughts. Play matters as it’s future leadership development. Standing on the side of a hill, I explained a story from the great capture the flag games of the late 1900’s. Today’s landscape differed from the epic days of old. (The stories of ancient camp history differed from my day as well. While played for fun, aspects of play teach. I often asked teams I lead if they wanted to play for fun or play to win. Simple question, but it changes how you perform. Churches need to make that choice too.
The power of story is imprinting spiritual points we already know from Scripture. Some (WRONGLY) say that’s solid preaching. It worked for Jesus, so… A long time mentor shared a story about the importance of jumping. A former NFL player hesitated, didn’t jump, and the ball went to the wrong end zone. Pointing to stories of faith, he made a point God’s people often miss: JUMP! Israel didn’t jump and wandered in the desert for 40 years for a lack of faith.
One of the joys growing up at camp were little kids. They were tag alongs because they were too young for camp. At times this is quite frustrating (even when they’re your own), but they add a dynamic so critical to camp: It’s not about you, there is another generation coming. Being near the top of the discipleship food chain is surreal. Why? You realize that the work never ends. Near the top just means a different discipleship assignment. Little kids are vital to learning that. Taught by every ‘interruption.’
The bottom line:
Remember where you came from. Visit and connect somehow if you can and/or it’s healthy to do so. Listen. Many profound lessons will arise from the experience.