Long ago, in a barren land known as New Jersey, a very fat baby boy was born. Over 8 lbs, this baby was born to be an awkward anti social man. A man who ended up being a leader of a ministry.

His name was Dante Nelson, and while he was never equipped to be a true leader, he was put in a position to lead on many occasions.

Alright, well that’s me. I was doing some reflecting last week on being a man who had to lead a team of people, not just from a physical and practical standpoint, but also from a spiritual standpoint.

When I got my lighting crew together, I did it with great hesitation. As I’ve said, I’m no leader, but, the projects I was working on required getting a team together. As of this writing, I have five awesome teens helping me along the way.

One of the things I’ve realized through the years is that I have to be a mentor to them. I have to guide them in lighting, but I also have to guide them as ministers. We’re a ministry and we make our impact through lighting. That’s our thing.

Anyway, over the summer I decided to make establish a Bible verse for the crew. By having  a biblical foundation, we would have something to lean on as we ministered. It’s important that every ministry has a foundation like this. I went with Genesis 1:3 as well as Matthew 5:16 as a motivational type passage.

However, this past week I’ve started to realize that I need to do more myself. Sure, I pray for them. But, I have to be a teacher of sorts. I mean, I’ve already taught in the church and have been for many years. But, I need to set an example for these teens.

What I first have to do is be right with God. My personal relationship has to be solid. My heart has to be on Him. Only then do I have a right to deal with my crew.

It’s a responsibility. See, I’ve never been a guy that wants his name out there. I don’t do things for the fame and the glory. So, when I was asked to be the lighting director, I took it as something cool, not “I’m the lighting director and this will look good on the program”.

There are too many people that only care about that. But they forget the other aspect; the more important aspect, which is to not only minister, but to make sure that your team is ministering as well.

People walk into the lead like it’s gonna be fun and “I get to call the shots” and stuff. But, so much of being the head of a ministry is the people under you. If you’re doing all of these great things and barely any of your people are growing as people of God, you failed. That’s it.

One of the things about being a leader of a ministry, to me, is making sure your team is growing spiritually. Make sure they are maturing. You have to be some sort of shepherd to them.

That’s my job. What I’m now realizing is that, I may be a terrible leader from a practical standpoint, but, I have a great level of spiritual growth that is beyond my years that can make up for that in many ways.

I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. I’m starting to grasp why I was put in this position. I wasn’t really looking at it from a spiritual angle. And, in ministry, a lot of times it’s all about the spiritual.

I have to use what I have to help my team. Before, I felt like I wasn’t making an impact since I wasn’t a true leader. Now, I feel like I am.

Yes, I suck as a leader. I’m beyond convinced of that. I am seeking a true leader even now. However, I understand that my impact can be from a spiritual point of view. To say that I am useless is not accurate.

My crew sees this. When I first mentioned that I was no longer willing to lead them, I was met with a lot of resentment. To me, I should take that as an honor. They see something in me. They were positively impacted by what I’ve done or said and I didn’t really see it.

I’ve always told them I wanted what’s best for them and I’ve always held the door open for a “big brother” type of relationship to them. I’m there for them when I can be.

The idea of being a role model makes me sick to my stomach and a big reason why is because it’s such an important job. This has to be taken seriously. You’re molding someone’s life. You can’t be messing around.

These are the reasons why I don’t ask to be a leader. I’m too scared to mess up. I’m too scared to fail because a failure would be major. I’m one of those guys that plays it safe. I’m a work in progress myself. No, you don’t have to be perfect to lead. I understand that perfectly. But, you need traits. Some you’re born with and others you acquire.

In the end, if I can touch any one of the lives that I have close to me on my lighting crew, then I’ve done a good job. I don’t need them to mention me in their acceptance speech when they make it big because of my impact. I don’t need that at all. I love them all too much to only be doing this for that.

Being a leader of a ministry is not easy.

When I hear about “pray for your leaders” it didn’t always make sense. But, now I get it more clearly. The leader is the leader. He’s who everyone is looking to for direction. If he is corrupt, then the whole operation is in trouble.

The enemy knows this and this is why he attacks the leaders first and with greater forces. If he can take the head out, then the rest of the body is doomed.

That’s what I’ve found. In terms on lighting, I can sense a darker presence in my heart. When things get tough, I tend to lean towards “give up”. There are other moments where I wonder why it’s happening to me. I get it.

Pray for your leaders. The burden they have to lead their group is big and only gets bigger by the size of the group.

Anyway, I think I’ve figured out my story for the crew at least.