I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

So our Worship Pastor, Jason Merrick, AKA Dr. Worship, and I are having lunch at Quiznos yesterday.  (I call him Dr. Worship, because he leads worship at our church and is by profession a medical doctor).  Anywho, we are sitting there and “Somebody’s Watching Me” comes on, and of course, I stopped talking.  I had to take a moment.  So, I offer Merrick 2 points to name the artist.  How many points you get is based on difficulty.  I offer you the same points.  (Points can be redeemed for discounted blog posts on cloften.com)

That song at Quiznos reminded me of one of my favorite stories that happend to Merrick and I at Quiznos.  I have told this story before in sermons, so I apologize to those that have heard this.  (However, one of  the benefits of cloften.com for me is that it becomes a repository for my favorite stories).

Merrick and I eat there almost every Thursday.  Whoever gets there first gets in line and orders the sandwiches.  (That’s right we eat at the same place every week and order the same sandwiches every week.  You have a problem with that?)  Typically it’s me, what with him being a doctor and all.  This time he was there first and there was a line.  I go to stand next to him and after a minute the dude behind us starts getting angry.  I won’t say that he was yelling, but suffice to say it was loud enough for everyone in the small Quiznos to hear it.  “Oh I guess you guys just get in line wherever you want, huh?”  Merrick tries to explain to him that he was there first, we order together, etc.  “Whatever you want to call it, (obnoxious noise like a phhhhh)”  Just as Merrick was about to explain it to him a little more forcefully, Rufus there mumbles something else at us.  I look at him and apologize and have him get in front of us.  He shoots us a smug look and orders. 

If you don’t know this, Merrick and I are both high justice and quite competitive.  That was hard for both of us.  I leaned into Merrick and said, “The people that work here know that we eat here all the time and that we plan worship services here.  They are watching.”  We calm down, order, get our food and sit down.

The guy in front took his sandwich to go.  After he left, the manager comes over to us and thanks us for how we handled that.  She explained that he is a regular and he gives people trouble all the time.  She appreciated the grace and humility that we showed and thanked us again.  She walks away and I look at Merrick.  He says, “OK, you win.”

If you are a follower of Christ and people know it, know this–people are watching you.  People want to see if you live the same way you talk at church.  I always feel like somebody’s watching me, and they are.  Unlike Rockwell (there’s your 2 pt answer), it is not paranoid.  It is reality.

Jack of No Trades, Master of All

February 9, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

So I’m watching a little TLC the other day, and by watching I mean, I love my girls and I will stay in the room with them when they watch it because I love them.  (Side note, my family is hooked on TLC–the Duggar show, Cake Boss, Ultimate Cake Off, Hey Look Another Show About Cakes, People Crying for No Good Reason, I Think I Want to Buy a Wedding Dress.  The list goes on and on.) 

The long time show around here is What Not to Wear.  I have seen more episodes of this than I care to recount (Don’t judge me.  I love my family).  Clinton and Stacy the style experts are explaining what clothes would work best for this lady (that’s kind of like saying the Bewitched episode where Endora casts a spell on Darren and everything turns wacky.  There is your dated reference of the week.).  She then in her interview starts crying because she is mad that they think they know more about fashion than her.  Really?  You are mad that two paid professional style and fashion experts know more about fashion than you?  Similarly, I get really mad when those newscasters think they more about “what’s going on in the world” than me.

This got me thinking about a certain leadership style that some leaders can have.  They believe that leader means that you have to be the expert on everything.  Their idea always has to be the best.  They have to know the most about everything than everybody. 

We hired a new children’s pastor a couple of months ago.  He has been doing children’s ministry for years.  I have been a children’s minister for exactly zero years.  I have served in a kid’s ministry.  I have led a church that has kid’s ministry.  I have kids.  That’s it.  Who is the expert?  He is.  I don’t tell him what curriculum to use.  He tells me.  I don’t tell him the number of workers  he needs he tells me.  I provide vision, communicate values and I do everything I can to support him.  I don’t feel any pressure to know more about kid’s ministry than him, because I don’t.

I feel sorry for the leader that feels that they have to know everything and be an expert on everything.  I would imagine it is quite stressful.  How about you?  Do you empower the leaders around you?  Do you make them better? Or does you being the leader mean you are the best at everything, you know everything and “your people” exist to make “you” better?  “They” are just implementers of “your” ideas. 

It’s OK that Clinton and Stacy know more about fashion, that Buddy knows more about cakes, and the Duggars know more about having 19 kids, and it’s OK that the people you lead know more than you in their areas of expertise as well.

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