And Out of Season

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Sunday morning I did a very bad thing.

It was the final keynote address to the teens gathered at the Watson conference and I introduced Pastor Joseph Gilchrist as the speaker.

Why is that so bad?

Because he found out he was speaking as I introduced him.

While Joseph is a dear friend and brother in the Lord, he’s also someone I mentor. And as such putting him in safe but precarious situations is part of my job.

There is no teacher like experience.

We can prepare, practice, and plan all we want, but we as humans learn things faster and more deeply in moments of real-world, first-time pressure than we do in any classroom.

God understands this too. That’s why we normally don’t get a heads up when testing comes. It simply arrives. And how we respond under pressure is who we really are. (Thanks to Joseph’s dad, Pastor Kirk Gilchrist, for burning that one into my head).

God is after our authentic response and our genuine growth. He’s not into the superficial, the temporary, or the transient. He wants long-term development enough that he’s willing to risk short-term setbacks.

So how did Joseph handle it? After a minute of humorous shock – which he played very well – and a brief moment of strategizing, he pulled it off in style and shared a powerful message on one of his trademark themes “Going Public” for Jesus. Everyone was inspired and challenged to resist the fleshly urge to remain selfish with the Gospel.

I’m very proud of him and believe he’ll make a better Youth Pastor than I ever was.

Be on your guard, you’re probably “out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2) in some area that’s about to get called on. ch:

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  • Val

    Oh I wish I had been there to hear that! Also, I love the idea that part of mentoring is to put the one under you into “safe but precarious” situations. Definitely something I will be mulling over when I step into another intentional mentoring relationship.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ah – very glad I could give you a little something to think about.

      I’ve really learned that concept from parenting thus far, especially as the “adventurous dad.” Jennifer “naturally” wants to cover, protect, and nurture; it’s how she’s wired as a mom. I, however, am called to expand my children’s experiences for the benefit of their future by asking them to journey closer to the edge.

      It was great to see you for a bit this weekend. Praying for Baby S3! :)

  • http://www.mikekimmusic.com Mike Kim

    Haha very cool. Won’t forget moments I had like that growing up!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      And now you get to throw others into the lion’s den. Fun, fun, fun. (And it’s not even “Friday”).

  • Gabe

    wow, that’s awesome.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks Gabe. What’s been a moment recently that you were caught off guard? Anything come to mind?

  • http://www.newlifemedia.me Nina

    Good for you, Joe! Good for you, Christopher! So proud of both of you. And my “Out of Season” moment this past weekend was, “Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!” Death to self = joy to God! It was wonderful.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      What, you were? When? Do tell!

  • http://www.newlifemedia.me Nina

    Hey, Christopher, this you wrote below reminds me of something your Uncle Todd used to do with his kids, especially Gabe, when they were growing up…*
    “I’ve really learned that concept from parenting thus far, especially as the “adventurous dad.” Jennifer “naturally” wants to cover, protect, and nurture; it’s how she’s wired as a mom. I, however, am called to expand my children’s experiences for the benefit of their future by asking them to journey closer to the edge.”
    * When Gabe got to the last piece of candy in his pack, Uncle Todd would ask him for it.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      “When Gabe got to the last piece of candy in his pack, Uncle Todd would ask him for it.”

      Like, Halloween candy? What was the context? Like it, whatever it is.

  • Amy MacDougall

    The worst part was – it was Sunday morning – and his audience was “sleep impaired”! He did a great job though – certainly better than I could have!!!!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Great points! I’ll pass on your encouragement.

  • http://yahoo.com destiny

    this Sunday Ive leaned something knew from Joesph. That god does not want us to be selfish with the leaning of god and Jesus. to shear it with anybody around us. and also GREAT JOB JOESPH. And It was really nice to meet you.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Glad you took that away. Good stuff girl! I’ll make sure he gets the encouragement.