“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This is a question we’ve probably all been asked, or we have asked someone else.
Now that you actually are a grown up, how did things turn out? Is it like you thought it would be, or did life take you down some unexpected twists and turns that led you to a destination where you thought you would never be?

Denise Craig, CAE CCA
CEO of The Church Network

What’s interesting is that when we ask children that question — What do you want to be when you grow up? — they will often say something like, “a doctor,” “an astronaut” or “a baseball player.” That’s because when we ask the question (What do you want to BE when you grow up?), we usually get a here’s-what-I want-to-DO answer. The response really means: “I want to listen to people’s hearts with a stethoscope,” or “I want go to the moon,” or “I want to hit homeruns.”

What we want to BE is actually a very different thing

Do you want to be generous? Do you want to be kind? How about authentic and genuine? Do you want to be loving, even loving people who are different from you? Do you want to be willing to learn new things? What do you want to be when you grow up?

Even if our numerical age says we are grown up, we are never finished growing. There is always room to seek how we can be more like Jesus. He is great at being —  being wise, being patient, being full of grace and truth, being humble … the list could go on and on.

Increasingly, I hear people struggle with some type of church hurt. Could that be because we are focused so much on doing that we forget to BE? Or maybe what we became when we grew up is a result of our own hurts, struggles and pain.

There is a world out there that needs to see who Jesus is.

Maybe it’s time to set aside our to-do list for a moment and make a to-be list.

Maybe it’s time to make sure our kids know that their character is more important than their occupation.

Maybe it’s time to make sure our church staff culture focuses on that, as well as our volunteers.

When we give our lives to Jesus, we surrender ourselves to learn to be like Him. The reality is, when we learn to be like Him, doing things like Him will come naturally.

As a church leader, slow down for just a moment.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Denise Craig, CCA is a strategic leader who is passionate about helping others discover their God-given purpose so they can live and lead well. With more than 20 years of personal experience in church leadership, Denise is honored to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of The Church Network. She serves on the advisory panel for Church Executive Magazine, and is a regular speaker for conferences, Bible studies, and financial seminars. Denise received a BS Degree in Vocal Music Education from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and did graduate studies in Teaching and Learning at Cumberland University, and in Biblical Studies at Berea Bible College. Denise became a Certified Church Administrator (CCA) in 2006 and is a Certified Financial Coach with Ramsey Solutions. Denise can be reached at denise@thechurchnetwork.com.



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