I was in India for a mission trip in 2009 and I was as sick as a dog. The long train ride to Nepal from Delhi was one where the clickety-clack of the train coupled with the food I was not used to just about did me in. I ended up in a little tiny train bathroom turning green with people shaking the door trying to get in since I’d been there so long. Enough said.
When we arrived just short of the Nepal border and checked into our rather run-down lodging, I was given some medicine by our trip leader that knocked me out for 24 hours. I awoke groggy and weak only to hear the news that we were going to Nepal that morning. Everything in me wanted to crawl back into my little lumpy bed, but we jumped into the vehicles that would drive us to the Nepal border.
We entered the little Nepal village and went house to house talking about Jesus to people who spoke precious few English words – the translator did the rest. We had tea with one couple and spoke to many. By the end of the day, I felt we had accomplished absolutely nothing. It was just an ordinary day with ordinary people doing ordinary things. It seemed not to be “radical” or “passionate”, like some of the book titles or conference titles I was used to back in the USA. So, we got back on the train and headed home. For me, I was glad I at least felt better!
I pretty much forgot about that ordinary day there in a tiny ordinary village in Nepal in 2009 till today. My email dinged me this morning and said I had a newsletter from the Indian leader who took us to Nepal.
The sharing of God’s Love among our neighbors in western Nepal began in the year 2009. A short-term mission group from Saddleback Church in California came out to visit us in India and decided to take a day trip to shower the love of God into a Nepal village. On seeing the unengaged communities in Nepal the team was inspired to dedicate their efforts to sharing the good news among various tribes in Nepal. Today, 10 years later, we have started over 40 house churches.”
Wait, what?! My ordinary day, plus God’s extraordinary Spirit driven power, plus the strong, regular, 10 years of work by local missions professionals, created over 40 little churches?! Here I thought my day in 2009 was wasted for God. Instead, God used my wasted body for his glory.
At Leadership Collab 2019 in San Diego, California, we aren’t going to try to blow you away with a light show, a cast of superstars, racy graphics or a perfect worship set. We are going to ask God to use ordinary, exceptionally gifted communicators and award-winning musicians and artists to strengthen you, to inspire you and to encourage you to be all you can be as an ordinary leader out on point for God’s Kingdom. We are going to send you home from the Hotel del Coronado with your ordinary briefcase or backpack loaded with ideas as to how you can use your business as a platform of influence for God. We’ll be sure to give you a file folder full of straight-up block-and-tackle business ideas too. Things like how to scale your firm, how to lead well and how to be up to date on critical issues of our day.
You’ll rub shoulders with other ordinary leaders who all want the same thing you want, Kingdom impact. Maybe what we need right now is to do ordinary things better, to not look to change America, or to fix the world, but to love the neighbor (aka, employee) that God has given us the responsibility to lead. Let’s not miss God in the regular while we’re looking for the fireworks show to happen outside our window.
All in all, we’re going to learn how to “take our ordinary life … and place it before God as an offering”. Who knows, maybe 10 years from now if we’re faithful and God infuses our work with his power, someone who works for us as a shipping clerk, a VP of Finance, a janitor or a VP of Marketing, will have been loved in Jesus’ name. And maybe, just maybe, someone who works with us will find a relationship with the God who made them.
About the Author
Greg Leith is the CEO of Convene. He was born in Canada and lived in all four corners of North America. His career spans over 35 years of senior leadership roles in corporate, non-profit and academic sectors. Recently, he served as Director of Strategic Alliances for 13 years at Biola University in California.