This past weekend, I had the unbelievable honor to spend some time talking with Mark Beeson. I was the speaker at SpringHill Camp and he came with his Student Ministry from his church. Yes, you read that last part correctly!
Mark is the Pastor of Granger Community Church in Granger, IN. Granger is an amazing Church! AMAZING! And Mark’s leadership and teaching have been huge in my life for years. Granger Community Church has also always been on my Top 5 Churches to study list and has had profound impact on me as I dream and pray about launching a new church.
As luck would have it…ACTUALLY…I know luck had nothing to do with it. But, I had the opportunity to share a few conversations with Mark over this past weekend and those conversations were amazing. They were profound. They were words that I will cherish for a long time.
My only regret is…I didn’t press record on my iPhone! But, here are a few thoughts from those conversations…
1. Mark approached me. He sought me out after my first talk on Friday night and encouraged me. My goodness, REALLY?!? The lesson I learned from Mark is to seek out other leaders and encourage them! Way too often, WAY TOO OFTEN, we keep in encouragement! It takes a second and it can give a leader a huge boost.
2. Mark showed genuine interest. After my Saturday morning talk, he found me again and encouraged me again. He starting asking me questions and he listened. A great reminder to ask questions and listen. I was so humbled and honored that I had the chance to share my story with a leader like Mark.
3. Mark modeled loving his students and volunteers. Over the past 18 years, I have been a guest speaker on approximately 150-180 retreats, conferences, summer camps, mission trips and outreach events. I can only remember a handful of times when the Pastor of the Church came to cheer on and support his student ministry, youth pastor and student ministry volunteers. I know Pastors are busy, my goodness, how awesome is it that he came and just spent the weekend? As I get ready to launch a new church, my goal is to lead that way from the beginning, because…
Children and Students Matter! (Thanks Scott Pugh for reminding me of that last week!)
4. Mark truly engaged. It’s one thing to show up at an event, but it’s another to truly engage. Mark hung out with youth pastors, the worship band, the staff and the kids. It awesome to see a leader and pastor just truly engage in student ministry.
5. Mark sat down with me and pour out buckets of wisdom. I absolutely loved getting an opportunity to sit and listen to Mark share his heart, here are a few things that left an incredible mark on my heart…
- Some leaders are either on or off. It’s hard to be in the middle. But, when you’re on and going at it hard, keep reminding yourself that someday you want to walk your daughter down the aisle or play with your grandkids. That will help you be wise in your ‘on’ seasons.
- Are you trying to impress others with your teaching or make Jesus famous? It’s not worth it to try to impress others and be someone you’re not.
- Devoting your life to the local Church is amazing.
6. Mark prayed for me. How often do younger leaders have an opportunity to have seasoned leaders pray for them? It was a moment that meant the world and was a huge blessing.
It was truly an honor and was something that I’ll think about and learn from for a long time. So thankful!