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What Tony Evans Taught Me

In A Ride To The Airport

Years ago at a great celebration for Tom Skinner, hosted by his beloved wife Barbara, Tony Evans preached a great message and sounded a whole lot like Tom. I picked up Dr. Evans from his hotel and we rode along, not saying much. (Just because we preach does not mean we always have a lot to say.) I said to myself let me maximize this moment

At the time, I had been pastoring for about two years. So, here is the great Tony Evans, and I can pick his brain. I asked: "Dr. Evans, what are three things that I need to focus on as a pastor?" Expecting pearls of wisdom and rivers of revelation, I was dumbfounded and, frankly, disappointed at his answer. He did not give me three points and a poem. He did not speak with the veracity and audacity of one of his sermons. He spoke four simple words:

FOCUS ON YOUR LEADERSHIP.

Like a know-it-all middle school child in a class where he has an "A", I thought something like, "Well, Tony, I could have said that."

We rode along with a few more words and discussing a few other things and he got out the car, said thanks, and went on his merry way. "Wow. That was uneventful." I thought. But middle schoolers only "think" they know what is meaningful. Ha! Ten years later, or so, I have come to understand how powerful and important those words are.

Tony was right, everything hinges on leadership. A leader has to keep growing in his/her leadership and a leader has to help raise up leaders.

When I discover "opportunities for improvement" in Advance Church, I am reminded of four simple words spoken to me on a ride to an airport, serving a man of God. And I turn and focus on my leadership and the leaders walking with me.

Truth is rarely on the surface of what has been said. Dig deeper. Perhaps you have heard something from one of your leaders which seems simple, so you have marginalized it. Rethink what you have heard. There's more to it than meets the eye.

"Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life." - Proverbs 4:13

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