Posted by: Brian Musser | August 14, 2017

He Was Too Nice

Ministries built around one leader tend develop a personality that is similar or at least compatible with that leader.  This is a lesson I knew but was reinforced early in my work at Drexel.  Several students and I were having a small group Bible Study in the basement of the Creese Student Center.  Back in those days the ministry was mostly if not entirely made up of guys.  There were five of us gathered around the table.  We were talking about our weeks, gathering prayer requests from each other and fellowshipping before the study.  A friend of ours walks by.  She was the daughter of one of our local area pastors and had participated in several events with the group but never completely committed.  She was a commuter so that at times made things hard.  But also, whenever she showed up she would be the only female student in the room.  The ironic thing was we had several female students like this but none of them ever attended a Bible Study at the same time.

She was on her way somewhere and had not intended to participate in the Bible Study but dropped by to say hi.  She quick glances around the room looking at each person that she knew.  There were no strangers.  But then she asks; “Where’s Jake?”  We explain that Jake had decided to completely invest in a different ministry on campus and although was still connected with us and friendly with us, he wasn’t really a part of us.  She looks sad and then quickly said, “Oh, but he was the nice one.”  She did not mean anything by it but that comment sparked a room full of laughter.

For those of you who know me this probably does not need to be said but I tend to be sarcastic.  I also tend to attract sarcastic people around me and in my ministry.  After her comment I looked around the room and realized that it was full of guys who had a very similar sense of humor as mine.  Eventually this encounter became a joke about how Jake was too nice to be part of our group.  We could laugh about it but it made me think through a lot of the design of the ministry.  How could I empower the students more so that the ministry would not be limited by my particular personality?  Even if they were similar to me they were not exactly like me and the more diverse the leadership was the more reach we could have into the campus population.  The more voices we spoke with the greater number of folks would hear us and understand our message.

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