The Middle Fifteen

Thirty-five years ago today I was born. In some people's mind that means I'm still young. But to me thirty-five is neither young nor old. It's, gasp, middle aged. So what does one do in the middle? Here are some ideas:

  1. Grow a middle. Right? I mean I can stop pretending to be young. I'll lose it all when I'm old anyway. So now is the time to put myself out there, show I've hit middle-age and develop a nice "pulpit" on which to lay my snacks. And interestingly enough (providentially?) since the best part of the Oreo is the middle they should be a daily part of my diet.
  2. Get stuck in the middle. Middle-management that is. I can aspire to great things and organizational leadership later. The best this season of life can give me on the report-card is a "C" so, to use a sports-term, being a "middling" leader right now is the best that I can hope for and work towards.
  3. Have a middle (child). Of course that would mean Steph would be up for that. And Ethan's too small to qualify for the role, so we'll just stick with two. For now.
  4. Live in the middle. Of the country. (Check that baby off my list!)

Now I know my list is rather absurd (mostly). But this has been what I've been thinking about a little bit lately. What do the next fifteen years hold? 5-19 was growth, development, education. 20-34 has been maturing, marriage and ministry. 35-49, the middle years, to me is a season for leadership and expansion.

Here's some goals that I have for the next fifteen years that I pray God gives me the grace to accomplish.

  1. Lead my family well - As my children move into the growth, development and education stage I know that my role as a leader to them is more and more important. The next season involves more intentional and loving leadership of my family.
  2. Lead a church - sooner rather than later I'm ready to be the preaching and organizational leader of a local church. I know that God has called me to be a lead pastor and gifted me to do it. It's time to get after that. 
  3. Plant churches - If goal number two happens sooner rather than later than I hope to see no less than five men developed, trained and sent to plant other churches through the one I'm leading. That's a clip of one leader sent every three years. I hope to see a sending nature reverberate from the culture of the church I'm leading.
  4. Write five books. I have really enjoyed and loved working on the book I've written this last year. My skill in this area is growing and I understand more clearly the work and discipline that writing is. I want to write more and I want to grow in this gifting. 
  5. Love more. Love God more and better. Love my family more and better. Love people more and better. Even if numbers 1-4 happen, and I'm working hard towards them becoming realities, if I don't have love then it's all meaningless. I haven't displayed the love of gospel well. I haven't loved Christ well. So I am praying that my love for God another others grows and flourishes in newer and deeper ways in the next season of my life.

So off into the wide-expanse of my middle-age. There's much to do, much to grow from, and by God's grace when I get to fifty much to consider multiplying for the next season. Lord, help me grow!