This originally appeared on my Facebook wall, but I wanted to share it with a broader audience. Those who read my posts deserve to know the voices behind my voice that have shaped me.
Plus, I hope everyone would start doing #ThankfulThursday posts all year long and not simply the token month of November.
#ThankfulThursday: I am thankful for Bob and Sharla Roche. When people see me leading today, they have no idea the issues I had in the past. People often think leaders just pop out leading and doing good in life, but every leader I have ever met has a rich heritage of people who came alongside them and smoothed out their misunderstandings, rough edges, and idiosyncrasies.
Bob and Sharla put up with my teenage mood swings, my resistance to authority, and my tendency to over-react. They also taught and demonstrated to me what a Christian man looks likes and how he behaves, what a church leader should focu on, and what a solid marriage looks like. They gave me my first paying youth pastor job after college, and smoothed out my post-college I know everything attitude, my propensity to over-think and plan, plan, plan instead of actually doing something, and especially my love for peoples of other cultures and social economic status.
In Chicago, Bob and Sharla were living out and teaching Lynette and I that #BlackLivesMatter #LatinoLivesMatter and #PoorLivesMatter before it was the “cool and popular” thing to do. (We didn’t even have social media or hashtags back then…LOL).
So when you look at a leader today and give them praise, I hope that leader is doing what I am doing, and saying thank you, but also reflecting back to the men and women who loved, guided, and shaped them before they ever had a leadership platform of their own.
My challenge for all is to think of the people, institutions, books, teachers, businesses, conferences, and so much more that has shaped you and post a #ThakfulThursday posts each week till the end of the year (not just November when everyone expects us to be thankful).