You Are Super

We have all been made unique. Each of us have talents and skills that are unlike anyone else. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. All of us are made in the image of God and each of us are individuals. Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about being weird, how following after Christ truly sets us apart from the world. That makes us weird. It’s weird to pursue a relationship with an incredible creator, it’s weird to show love to everyone because of the love shown to us, and it’s weird to serve others in an authentic way. This is a passion of mine, to tell everyone just how special they are, and just how important their role is in the kingdom. Today I want to speak to you on a deep level, I want to tell you something that is very important in your walk with Christ. You are super.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Uniquely Created

I want to talk about something today that I feel like doesn’t get talked about enough. Creativity. We look around every day and look at a world filled with beautiful nature, excellent craftsmanship, and individuals who are each unique in every way from us. We look at it all, but something doesn’t quite sink in. We live in a world that was designed by an all-powerful creator, yet we forget to acknowledge the power that is in that. We forget the intricate processes of the body that allows us to function on a daily basis. We forget the fact that nature has an inner working system that literally gives life. And we forget that we have been designed with the ability to use our own creative minds. Each of us is unique, designed by a creator, each with the ability to give back with our own gifts. All of us have talents and abilities that add to the kingdom and the world we live in.

Continue reading

What Defines You?

I hope you have been able to stay warm this past weekend if you were like me and caught up in a crazy snow storm. This past weekend I had a lot of free time on my hands, the cabin fever was strong with me. While I had time on my hands, I had to write a brief paper on social media and how I present myself for my relational communication course. It was a strange project, not the paper itself, but the idea of looking at how I present myself to the world. It was enlightening, because of the fact that it made me look introspectively, and it reminded me of things that I have learned on how I define myself. In high school, I came to the realization that I want to be who I am, not wear a mask or pretend to be someone that I’m not. From then on, in every area of my life I wanted to be me, because I have been defined by something greater. Someone greater. I have been designed by an all-powerful God, one who has given me talents, gifts, and interests that make me unique. Too often I used to waste time trying to fit in, pretending to like the things that everyone else liked, talk the way others talked, did what everyone else did. These weren’t me. When you choose to not live like everyone else, others will try to define you by your earthly achievements. I was weak because I didn’t excel in sports, I was a fool because I didn’t learn like everyone else, and I was an outcast because I wanted to truly follow Christ. These accolades, grades, and feelings of an outsider didn’t define me. Only God can define you.

Once I started living this truth, the earthly things around me began to not matter anymore. I learned to love the hobbies that gave me joy. I loved comics, movies, and writing because God designed me to think through mixed media. I learned to be vulnerable, to be open with my struggles to help those who are suffering around me in similar ways. I learned that life is so much more fun when you live knowing that only God defines you. The pressure of trying to be perfect, or fit in with everyone else fades away. It fades away because it isn’t important. I am so thankful that God defines me. The verse that spurred on this post was Psalms 139:14 which says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” What a beautiful verse. When we believe that God has made us, we know that he defines us by saying we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When looking at how I present myself through social media, I am me. I am the same person on the screen as you will meet in person, and I do that on purpose. I want to be exactly who God has made me to be, all the time, no matter what form others see me in. I want you to believe that same truth, you can be all that God made you to be, when you start believing that he is the only one who will ever define you.

Know that you are beautiful.  

God made you beautiful. Yes, guys too. The word beautiful means that something is aesthetically pleasing to the senses and has a high standard, something that is excellent. You are beautiful, because God made you. No matter what people have said to you, or how people may have treated you in the past, you are beautiful. You have a unique personality, one that is filled with strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, a future that is unlike any other. I’m not saying this to make you feel like you are better than someone else, I’m saying this because you have been designed by an awe-inspiring creator. Without him we would have nothing, and he has given you so much. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that we are not good enough, saying we are worthless, but this is the lie. You are worth everything, that’s why an all-powerful God gave his son to die for you. God did that saying that he loves you so much, that you are his beautiful creation. Our society has put a standard up for what makes someone beautiful or special, young girls hate the way they look and young boys try so hard to attain what a “real” man looks like. This breaks my heart, because God has already made you to be exactly who you are. One day when I have children of my own, I hope to tell them that they are so special. One day I will tell my daughter that she is beautiful just the way she is. One day I will tell my son that a “real” man is one that follows God with everything inside of him. Today I am telling you the same. You are beautiful because God has made you, and you must believe that he is the only one that defines you.

Strive towards what is good.

Once you know that God has designed you, you must strive towards what is beneficial to your life. None of us would knowingly drink poison, so why is it that we make decisions that could harm us? We do this on a daily basis, it is the sad truth. God wants to be with you in everything, yet we choose to try and live life on our own strength. Time and time again we fail and get frustrated as to why God would let this happen, the truth is, we are not coming to God first. When God isn’t first, we lose sight of what is important. We let the small things slide. We hang around those people that really are terrible influences, we waste time with things that aren’t important, and sometimes we let our eyes fall into places they should never be. So we need to make a choice, will we believe that God defines us, or make compromises that only satisfies our flesh for a short time. I hope you choose to live the way that God made you to be. When you live that way, you spend time with people that push you to be better, we use our time wisely, and we focus our eyes towards heaven. It’s not big things, it’s the decisions to be wise. Finding community at your church, spending time in the word and in prayer, keeping your eyes guarded from the computer screen or that underwear commercial that comes on the TV. Strive towards what is good, because God has defined you to be a child of the most high.

Don’t define others.

We can forget this quickly. We start living without a mask and live the way God designed you to be, but when we see others, we are quick to judge. We need to live by the golden rule, yes that one. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you’ve ever experienced a hurtful word spoken about you, or had a rumor started about you, it is devastating. It hurts because people judge you for living the way God wants you to live, and that means that you seem weird to others. Why then would we do the same? It seems so simple, but it’s the truth. Only God defines you, and only God defines the people around you. So don’t gossip, don’t speak words that will only destroy the spirit of people around you, instead, speak life. Build others up, tell them the truth that you have found, show them that only God defines them. Come to them with love when you see they are not living the way scriptures say, and before that, make sure your life lines up with scripture. Don’t define others, because only God can define them.

8ec1ab_3fcc45ffa7234901b24c3b48f0bca126

How do you live your life? Do you try to fit in and let the people around you define who you are, or do you choose to believe that only God can define you? God has made you. All of your talents and quirks, he has made you to be exactly who you are. I love that verse in Psalms. There was a company that sells a T-shirt with the words, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” on it. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a young girl, must have been around 7 years old, wearing the shirt. I love that. I think we should all be like that. Proud of who we are because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made. I hope my children one day know that truth and hold it that close to their own live. You were made by the same God that created the universe, the beauty and wonder that surrounds us, that same God, created you. Not by accident or by chance, God designed you and made you. God is the only one that can define you. So live knowing that you are beautiful, strive towards what is good, and don’t define others. God loved you, made you, and gave everything to save you.

God is the only one that will ever define you.

-Joshua Thomas

Give Generously

Well, Christmas is this week! Kinda crazy to think about how fast time flies when I look back at the year. Christmas really is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Whether it’s the music, the lights in the neighborhood, or the smell of a good ole pine tree in your house. I love it. I also love this time because we have the chance to give gifts to the people we love in life. Finding the right gift is always fun for me, trying to think about the person and what they would really enjoy. Oh and in case you are a last minute shopper, Amazon Prime is your friend (so you should jump on that!). Also, I’m not sponsored to say that, but if Amazon is listening, hello! Anyways, giving gifts is a great part of the season, and yes, receiving gifts is always great! It is a season filled with joy and reflection for me. I get to be with my family and loved ones and just share time with them, and there is no better feeling than that. Being generous doesn’t have to be the giving of physical gifts either. In Daystar Kids yesterday, I was able to lead the second hour service. The life app we have been looking at is compassion, and yesterday I shared the lesson about how Jesus was the greatest gift any of us have ever received. God sent his son to save humanity, humanity that is corrupt and is a fallen people. Humans that are imperfect, given a savior who was perfect. A savior that came in the humble form of a child. God gave generously.

God wants us to give, but he wants us not to just give a tithe, but he wants us to humble ourselves. We can give our time, abilities, and heart to others. When I think back on the memories of people who gave to me, its’ always been a time spent together, an empowering word, or just a real conversation about how we can change the world. Giving generously is simple, my fourth and fifth graders show me this any time I ask about how they can show love or compassion to people around them. One of the kids has a lot of siblings, so when they say things like, “I can help do the dishes,” you know they are giving generously. Another kid said they love doing art, so they could make cards for people. The best thing about working with kids, is that they are wise beyond their age at times. One of the students said they could sit with people at school who are alone, because they know what it’s like to be bullied and alone. That was a fifth grader. She knows how to give generously. Moments like this are the ones where I get teared up and probably look silly in this coffee shop, but it’s because I see the heart in each of these kids. In moments when we feel alone or that someone doesn’t care about us, we can give generously and change someone’s life. I’m writing with tears in my eyes because someone gave generously to me, and told me I was going to make a difference, that’s why we must give generously.

Give your time.

This is a hard one for most of us. It’s so easy to be self-oriented, that our agenda becomes more important than investing in the lives of others. I think about the times my parents would give up time for me and my sister. Each week we would spend time together, doing things like eating ice-cream and waffles for dinner, or eating under the table. There was one time where my mom and I went to see Star Wars when one of them came out, I love those movies, and my mom went with me even though she was confused about the story. She gave time. She gave generously. It taught me to live like that as well, I give up time to pour into students on my Sundays, and I meet with a couple high schoolers in the week, and I do it because I want to give generously in their lives. Sometimes Netflix binging can wait when those close to us need us. Something that many of us can learn. Give with your time, we aren’t guaranteed it anyways, so use it wisely to impact people in your life.

Give your abilities.

Last week I talked about how unique each of us is. You have been designed with incredible gifts and talents. I love working with the next generation because they see the value in using their gifts to create a better world and spread the name of Jesus. So why is it that when we get older we start to live like we can’t make a difference? That is so not true! Everyone is important, there has never been anyone who wasn’t special. If you are silently judging me and thinking I’m the kind of person that wants everyone to get a medal, you are looking at things all wrong (Yup, I just called you out). Too many people live with a cynical mindset, trust me, I can be very cynical. When we look at life this way, we miss out on the chances to take a leap or help someone chase their wild dream! All too often we tell people they can’t, and rarely tell them they can. I think that’s sad. I think it’s sad because God made us with a purpose, we make larger ripples in the universe than we even can imagine. I have a dream to reach the next generation and help people find their purpose, so I decided to start a blog. I told my sister that when I first started (She is wise beyond her years) and rather than saying that’s silly, she told me to do it. She gave me confidence to put myself out there, and I am so thankful for that. You, my dear reader, have been given gifts. No matter how old or young you may be, you can change the world. If no one has ever told you can do it, know that I believe you can do it. Give generously with your abilities because God will use your effort to change the world.

Give your heart.

No, I don’t mean donate your heart (you can’t live without that, silly!). What I mean, is that before we can truly step into what God has for us, we need to give our life and place our trust in Christ. The first step to opening up a door to the vision of your life. When you do this, your life will change. You will begin to look at the world differently. When you have a relationship with Christ, you begin to treat others the way you want to be treated. You start to speak life giving words over others, and hold back your tongue when someone crosses you. God has much for you, so give your life to him. When you live differently, people notice. You make a bigger impact when you give your heart. I’ll always remember a certain moment in my life where things clicked, where I knew that God had more for me. It was in a passing moment with my middle school pastor who would invite me to serve at a local elementary school in a not so great part of town. My pastor, Marshall Johnson, knew that I felt alone and not worth anything, and he simply said, “Joshua, you are going to do great things one day.” Now I know it may seem like I’m trying to humble brag right now, but far from it. I’m simply sharing a simple memory that altered my life. I’m sharing it, because we have the ability to use our words and change lives of the people around us whom may be struggling. Give your heart, because when we do, we accept the responsibility of changing lives for the better.

candid-15

Giving generously is so much more than a present on Christmas. Giving generously means looking at the world around you and seeing how you can show love and compassion to another person. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose affair, it could simply be a text to that friend you haven’t seen in a while, laughing with the people you love, or sitting with the person who feels like they are fighting alone. Giving shouldn’t be a Christmas time feeling, it should be an everyday choice. A choice to give your time, abilities, and heart to grow closer to God and follow his vision for your life. You have dreams, and they may seem crazy, but God wants to use your dreams to impact this world. Speak life to the people around you, use your abilities to serve others, and give your heart each day to accept what God has in store for you. Live a generous life. So when you see moments where you can give to someone else, take hold of it. God gave his own son to save you. He gave the ultimate gift. So help your siblings wash dishes, draw a card for your friends, and sit with the person who may feel the same way you did. That is how you can live a life that honors God.

That is how you give generously.

-Joshua Thomas

 

Starting Over

The idea of starting over and moving into an unknown is a daunting feeling. Often I find myself moving in one direction that I think is where I should go, but my path is changed. Even when I think I am following God’s path for my life, I can never be sure. Moments like this cause me to face the process of starting over. This has happened in my past, through the process of salvation, and it happens continuously. I’m sure we all face this on a regular basis, and to be completely honest, I don’t always want to change. My human self wants to stay safe, safe in the arms of complacency. Risks are unknowns to all of us, the outcome is often built up drastically in our heads, and we use that as an excuse to not change. Over and over in my life, I see myself taking steps in one way, thinking it is the best way, but it feels like the door that was once open, has now been slammed in my face. This is an awful feeling. Doubts are built up in my head, and I begin to doubt my potential. Whether it’s due to mistakes in our past, or the fear of new things, we refuse the gift of starting over.

Notice how that paragraph ended with the word “gift” used to describe starting over, yeah I did that on purpose. It is a good thing to start over, and I know this is true because I have been reading about one of the strongest leaders in the bible that started over. Paul was an amazing servant of the Lord who wrote most of the New Testament, but before he was Paul, he was a terrorist. His birth name was Saul and he was responsible for the capture and murder of Christians, but when God stops him where he stood, he gave Saul the chance to start over. He really started over, completely changing his career, I guess being a terrorist was his career (A bit creepy if you ask me), and giving him a new name. I hope none of you are in the business of being a killer, but God wants to help you start over. In reading through the ministry of Paul, I think there are three key elements that God has in regards to giving you the gift of starting over.

Your past does not define your future.

One of the biggest lies that Satan or the world may throw at you, is that you can never do anything good because of what you have done. This is so wrong, we all screw up and no one is perfect, so don’t be depressed because you won’t be perfect. God doesn’t use perfect people, he uses the broken. I have to remind myself that no matter how much I’ve screwed up, God wants to use me and elevate me from the dirt. If God can take a murderer and change him to becoming one of the most famous leaders in the bible, he can use you and me. The coolest thing about God is that he gives us another chance, something that I have been witnessing first hand from some of the hardships that I have witnessed and experienced through this past year. I have seen friends find their way back to Gods plan, I have seen the church rally around the family of a friend who passed away, and I have seen the redemptive possibilities that are here for my family. While my stories may seem distant, I know that you have been going through hard times as well. Let me tell you that your past and the struggles you have faced will never define your future. Your future is defined by how you follow Christ.

Trials Produce perseverance.

When we are faced with starting over, it is often the result of a struggle or problem that has risen up in our life. Unless you are an optimist, it’s not easy to see the good in situations like this, situations that test us and cause us to question everything. Paul during his time of ministry, faced many trials. He was imprisoned and faced death over and over, but he saw the purpose that it would be used for. Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” In the midst of the hard times and looking in the face of starting over, we have hope. A hope that is pure and godly, one that will give us a vision for more, rather than a fear of what might happen. The struggles we face guide us to the path we were meant to walk. So what does this mean to start over? Starting over essentially translates to redirecting my vision to where God wants me to be. Our passions may change, our path may have a shut door for us to find a new path, or God may have a sudden direction he takes you. All through the changes, when we keep God first, the rest will fall into place. This may mean changing a profession, not chasing after that one dream but following another, or letting go of things that will hold you back. Remember that in all things, even the trials, God will guide you.

Change is ongoing.

This is the final piece, and it’s the one you may wish I hadn’t revealed. The process of starting over and fully following Christ is continual, meaning that we are never fully finished. We have to constantly be redirecting our minds towards what will give us life. This is why fasting is such an essential part of our walk, taking something that we have elevated to the highest place in our life, and cutting it out for a season in order to focus on what is truly important in life. Currently, Daystar Church is in the time of their twenty one days of prayer and fasting, I am participating because it is such a life giving time to cut something out and grow in Christ. We are praying for a revival to come not only to our church, but to our city. It gets me excited to know that so many are on the same page of craving more of what God has in store for all of us. So ask yourself, what am I holding on to that prevents me from connecting with God? Knowing that the change will be continual and a process that we must strive for.

XSPVyaJs8rY

The hope I have for you and myself is that we would both learn to start over. To hit the reset button for our life and follow God rather than our own desires. This thought of starting over can feel massive, like looking at a mountain and realizing how small we really are in comparison. The thing we forget when gazing upon the mountain is that we follow the God who created all things, put the stars in the sky, and crafted that mountain with his hands. That same God is with you. God may have you change your path, your dreams may radically change, but that same God will never leave you. He has never left me, and trust me when I say this, because I have faced many mountains in my life. God will help us overcome our toughest mountains when we redirect our focus on him alone. Don’t be afraid, God is with you. No matter what you have faced in the past, no matter what trials you face, and no matter how hard the change may seem, God will always be with you.

Start over with Christ.

-Joshua Thomas

Be Effective With Your Talents

Everyone has a talent. If you’re like me though, your first reaction is, “I don’t think I really have one.” This reaction to me saying that you do have one, is due to the fact that we often look down at ourselves. Now if you don’t, awesome, but if you’re more like me, it’s quite easy to not see the gifts that you hold already. This thought came into my head recently as I was trying to evaluate where I am and if I am being effective with what I have been given. Trust me, I have had plenty of time, especially being a student on summer break with much more time that can go wasted. Recently, I have been feeling like I have not been using my time and talents wisely, basically, I get lazy. The biggest trap to get caught in, whether this is due to boredom and just plain not wanting to face the responsibilities that life has, I’m not sure. That’s the thing about laziness, we can give any excuse in the book to not do something. What I want to do today is share some things I am learning and doing to slay the dragon of laziness (see I made it sound cool so now you want to keep reading).

I’m writing this for you, my super cool reader, and myself (pretty heavy, right?). I think one of the biggest barriers that holds people back is this idea of laziness and being complacent. We get so comfortable with where we are that we forget we were made for such a bigger purpose. I want to see a generation of people stand up and say that we can use our gifts to help change the world, and I sure want to be a part of that. I want you to be able to see that you have a talent and I want to help you move from having one, to using it in order to be effective in every part of your life.

God gave you a specific skillset.  

The biggest lie that we hear from Satan is that you are not good enough. This is such a lie because over and over in scripture we hear God speak about how he formed us in his image, to be unique and made for a purpose. Of course the enemy doesn’t want us to believe that, because when we believe the lie, we box ourselves in from what we can really do for this world. Know that God has given you a skillset that is your key to being effective. This can be anything. For me, I am very good at communicating to others and helping them find their potential, as well as, a passion for writing that I hope will one day influence a great many people. Now I know it may sound like I’m being prideful, but when God has given you a talent, he wants you to realize it and take hold of it. So your talents may be similar to my own, or completely different. That’s the beauty of it, you are an individual and you have a talent. Take a moment and think about what you have been gifted at. Maybe you sing like an angel, maybe you love helping the homeless, or maybe you feel a passion for showing love to those who don’t have a lot of love in their life. All of these are examples of talents, you have been given a talent!

Use your talent as much as possible.

This is the first step to killing your lazy spirit, now that you have discovered some of your talents. Start taking steps towards using your talent, start serving in your church, practice your skill in any way that you can. It would be really easy for me to know what I think God has gifted me with and then choose not to do anything with it. That would be such a tragedy for your life. Believe me I know it’s easy to make any excuse for why not to do something, but start pushing yourself out of what you feel comfortable with and step into the unknown. The worst thing that may happen is you find out that maybe this isn’t where I’m the best gifted at, and try again. That’s the great part, the world won’t end if you don’t get it right the first few times! You have nothing to be afraid of, God tells us this. Romans 8:15 says, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Not only has God not given us a spirit of fear, but he calls us his son and daughter, he loves you so much. Live in freedom and choose to take the steps to pursuing Gods purpose for your life.

Be generous and brave.

After you find your talent and begin walking into your purpose, we face the foes that will try to stop us. These enemies are known as pride and complacency. We can get prideful as we master our talents and this can cause our ministry and life to rot away. It makes us look down at the people we should be helping and speaking life to and says that you’re better than them. The second enemy is complacency, this guy tells us that what you’re doing is good and there isn’t a reason to strive for more. This doesn’t ruin your ministry, but it prevents you from listening to new ideas and prevents you from growing things into better skills. So what can we do to fight off these nasty guys? Well, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” This verse is not only talking about our money, but I believe it also refers to what we have to offer with our skills. We kill pride by giving our abilities with a cheerful heart, being respectful of those we serve and those we serve under. We kill complacency by choosing to give more as we are given more, and reaping to rewards from what we learn. Be generous in your talents and be brave to take the next steps that will help you grow continuously, this will make you effective no matter where you are.

5142688241_37c0a6b4fd_z

You are a child of God, and with that comes great things. You have been given gifts and talents that will help you in all areas of your life. No matter what you may be going through, you have the potential to do something that will change the world. Even when it seems like we are alone or that no one cares, your intentions are speaking to people like no other. You may be told that you aren’t good enough or that you are inexperienced, these are lies from someone who doesn’t want you to step into the purpose that God made you for. It’s okay to try new things, to make mistakes, and to ask questions. We were not made to be complacent and fearful of stepping out. We were meant to be brave and live with complete trust in Christ. We are not made to be prideful and put ourselves on a pedestal, we were created to be generous and care for everyone around us. So at the end of this, you have a choice, I have a choice. We can choose to use our talents and be as effective as possible, or we can live comfortably and accomplish nothing.

What do you choose?

-Joshua Thomas

Being a Sacrificial Leader

As I continue to walk in faith and pursue a deeper relationship with Christ, I am always wanting to learn more so that I can in turn do more for the kingdom. So when I read through Romans 12 this weekend, I was enjoying every part of it. It has a very simple idea, we are to be a living sacrifice. A sacrifice is an offering to Christ, and when Paul says we should be a living sacrifice, he means that we are to offer ourselves up. Pretty simple, but then I started to wonder, what it looks like exactly to put this into practice. The chapter has two main ideas with one overarching theme. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Which immediately targets the first focus that every leader has to have if they want to be a sacrificial one.

A sacrificial leader works on their own heart first.

It’s easy to tell other people what they need to fix before we take an honest look at ourselves. What that first part of chapter 12 shows, is that we need to first work on our own focus and attitudes. The first step that we need to take if we want to lead sacrificially is to transform all of our mind. Not some of it, but all of it. God doesn’t want a leader who is still clinging to something that can only bring death. Now do we all have struggles? Well duh we’re human, but this verse is saying that we need to work towards living a pure life. So if you struggle with anything, don’t feel like you can’t ever be a leader, just don’t let that sin take over your mind. Seek council, listen to wise words from people who have gone before you, take the necessary steps to guard your heart from things that only bring pain. Step into freedom. Earlier I said there was an overarching theme with the two points, and that is the action of love. As you change your mind, practice showing love to others and good leaders that are around you will show you love. Transform your mind, step into freedom, and show love to those who help you get stronger. Then we see the second main way to be a sacrificial leader.

A sacrificial leader works with a team.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from people who have led me, is that we can’t live life alone. Romans 12:3-5 says, “ For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” A leader values the people they lead, and a sacrificial leader knows that they need people to carry out the mission. I have never met anyone who was unimportant, all of us have something to contribute to one another. Each week I serve alongside a fantastic team, everyone with a special skillset that makes them a vital member of the team. In Daystar Kids team at the New Garden Campus, Beth leads using this formula, encouraging us all, and empowering us to be the best we can be. Every area of ministry is like this, it’s the reason I love serving. So naturally, as I find myself in leadership positions, I want to do the same. A sacrificial leaders empowers their team to be the best they can be. As I thought more about this a great example came to mind.

The X-men exemplify what it means to be a team of sacrificial leader.

Now before you roll your eyes at me, let me explain. I have always loved the X-men comics because it’s a great example of being a part of a team a leading wherever you are at. The X-men are all mutants with supernatural abilities, who are socially outcast because they aren’t understood by the rest of society. Instead of hurting others, the X-men defend the world from bad guys, each using their special skills to be the most effective as a team. It’s such a great example of how to be an effective sacrificial leader, working together to accomplish a common goal. In the body of Christ, the same is true, we work together using our gifts and talents to build the kingdom.

John-Byrne-X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-70s

To bring it together, a sacrificial is one who is pursuing Christ each day, and uses their talents to serve within the body of Christ. A leader is not someone who sits above others and barks orders, they are people who are willing to step into what they know God wants them to do. I want to be a sacrificial leader, I want to step into what God has for me, and I want to do all of it with an attitude of love for those who need it. I hope that this helps you be an effective leader no matter where you are in life because, you are special, and you have so much to offer.

-Joshua Thomas