I did this exercise on the spur of the moment: I started typing the roles I have that I am most passionate about. I free wrote them in the order that they came to me without punctuation or pause. I stopped once the answers became obvious, recognized titles that I have, so this is not a complete list. The top two were spontaneous and have no official relevance in my work whatsoever:
Teacher truth-teller organizer leader father friend social worker minister
What is the title you hold, the role you play, that encompasses and transcends all the official titles and recognized roles you’re known for?
For me, as I consider all the things I do or want to do, all the ways my passions manifest themselves, they all bend back toward one thing-
Church planter- teacher
Social worker- teacher
This has little to do with having “students.” As a husband, I feel that I am a teacher, but not because my wife is a pupil who needs me to pour knowledge into her. She has taught me a lot, maybe more than I could teach her. But it has to do with my desire to communicate something that enriches her, betters her in some way, helps her grow as a person.
Because I don’t see myself as knowing everything, but as someone who is learning and wants others to learn with me.
I can’t get over the thirst I see in the faces of people in the community of my calling, when I teach the oneness of God, and they’re hooked on it and wanting more even when time is up. I love to hear that someone has realized that they need to be acting on the values they claim to hold instead of sitting still and watching negative change happen, like when I talk about the important pro-life issues facing our state. I’m thrilled when something I’ve written as an encouragement to my team at work is so transformative that they print it and pin it in their cubicle.
Why is this so important?
I’m all about helping people who want to have sustainable ministry or work- they want to last. You have to know why all the menial stuff matters, and there is no way to know that without knowing what ties it all together for you. “Church planter” and “Program Supervisor” don’t do that for me. But I’ve found what does. Have you?
When you do your own exercise, you will likely have a different unofficial, yet pervasive role that binds itself around all your pursuits. When you do, I have high confidence that it is one of the greatest gifts God has given you to share with the world around you, and infinitely worthy of your all in developing it.
What is the most important role you play? I’d love to know what you think- share below or on one of my social media pages.