I’ve dealt with a few jerks in my day. I’ve even been one on more than one occasion. Early in my ministry life I was a doormat for those jerks. I valued relationship and “living peaceably” so much that I would allow things then that I would never stand for today.
I grew up in a denomination that was very much like family. My first step outside of that held a rude awakening for me. Back then I was a sax player first, a beginning keyboard guy and wanna be songwriter. I sang as well but was content just directing the band and facilitating worship however I had the opportunity to at the time.
I got to a “big” church and volunteered there. I sang a couple of Sundays over my first few months there. Then one afternoon the worship leader sat me down to have a chat.
“Adam, you won’t be leading worship anymore. Because if I let you lead worship, people will figure out you’re better than me…”
It’s a moment I’ve never forgotten. In retrospect, I’m sure he felt he was doing the right thing. And it probably took guts to confess that to me. I, however, walked away with hurt feelings, frustration and thinking he was indeed a jerk. But, that moment changed my leadership forever.
I decided I never wanted to be that kind of leader. I determined that I would share my platform and be generous to others. His jerkness helped shape me in a way that his goodness to me probably would not have. That moment was the first of a couple of moments where it’s been clear that God had ordained some people to share their jerk sides to teach me things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Now when I run into someone who’s intent on being a jerk, I wonder if God isn’t prodding them on.