embracing your DNA

I gave a brief devotional this past Wednesday before a group of church leaders at the Multi-Site Churches Leadership Community. I read from Jeremiah 1:1-13, and the talk revolved around 2 questions:

My childhood dream was to be a stand-up comedian. But I didn’t quite have what it took and didn’t have the motivation to get what it takes. For years I looked for what I should be doing with my life, trying to find a role model for a career that fit me. That’s been elusive for me. I couldn’t find a job or career that really fit me.

Now in my 40s (having turned 42 in July), I’m feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I don’t fit. I’m unconventional; unpredictable. Not a good corporate guy. I look at the world differently than most people. I’m not the kind of guy that colors within the lines, nor thinking outside the box. I’d say, “What box?”

I’m not a focused goal-oriented guy. I have racing thoughts, random and wild ideas. I’m a hacker, great at short-term projects where I can find a creative solution. I’m a networker, great at connecting people to people and people to resources.

Question #1: “Who are you?” Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” I’m (beginning to) embracing my DNA. I’m learning to be the way God has created me to be. God created you with unique gifts and talents. The more you’re true to yourself, the more God’s workmanship do its good work. You don’t have to force it. Just let it flow. Embrace your DNA. God’s called your church to be a light in your community. You don’t need to copy someone else. Be who God has called you to be.

Question #2: “What do you see?” Jeremiah 1:11, “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘What do you see…’

As we’re in this Leadership Community together for the next 2 years, let’s see God at work in each other, and call that out. Let’s encourage each other, let’s celebrate together.

As you look around your community, what do you see? We see what we’re looking for. Ask God to show you what you need to see, and what you need to do.

my notes from morning talk, cf. someone had posted a pix of t... on TwitPic   do sr pastors have to all be so tall? I can only think of 1 e... on TwitPic

This is a picture of the notes I took up with me. And, look at these 5 senior pastors — they’re all so tall! I’m 5′ 8″. You know any shorter senior pastors?

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9 Responses

  1. adam_herod says:

    Thanks for this DJ. I've spent this last year trying to figure some of this stuff out for myself. Thanks for the insight from an older brother. Very helpful.

  2. Dave Ingland says:

    I'm pretty much working through this myself, as you know. This is well-timed!

    By the way, did you use those notes to speak from? If so, you definitely are the creative type able to see order in the chaos 🙂

  3. Brian B says:

    DJ thanks for the encouraging post. I'm in a stage of life (just started my 30's) where I'm embracing my different-ness and learning to treasure the way I think and lead rather than trying to conform it to the norm.

    Really enjoyed how you connected that to Jeremiah–our gifts and unique abilities are even more exciting as I think about the sovereign hand of God intentionally ordaining those!

  4. betsy says:

    I imagine you saw this – The Gift of Not Fitting In

    I definately know how this feels, and I, at almost 47, am also starting to relax with my DNA, thanks mostly to husband and faith community.

    Yeah, our pastor's tall too. Convenient when we were doing advent decorating yesterday,

  5. djchuang says:

    Yes indeedy, those were the very notes I took up with me. I read the Scriptures from my iPod (did some screen captures of YouVersion screens, so I wouldn't have to rely on any internet connections), but wasn't able to figure out how to write random notes on an iPod, so I used an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, as pictured.

  6. djchuang says:

    Betsy, thanks for your comments. I had not read Jonny Baker's post (I'm actually very behind on any blog reading, so have resorted to blog skimming, randomly, at best) — and just did, and glad I did.

  7. Peter says:

    Asian community 🙂 Most of the senior pastors around me are around 5' 6″

  8. Sovann says:

    I just picked up this book from the library

    Good, practical advice.