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Chilly Chilton #Leadershipweek

November 6, 2009

This post was written by Chilly Chilton for #leadershipweek. I want to thank Chilly for participating in this event. Please go and check out his blog and follow him on Twitter here.

The Tackle Box

This past summer I had the privilege of spending a week with my two brothers and their families at a lake house in Northern Michigan. We were celebrating my parent’s 50th Anniversary. It was a beautiful setting and an awesome opportunity to kickback and have fun – something we had not done all together for almost 20 years.
My older brother brought his boat – my kids were pumped for some hardcore tubing & swimming (so was I)… You see, throughout my upbringing, I was never interested in fishing – IF I was at a lake, I was in it or on it being active. My brothers hated taking me fishing. I would, without fail, end up doing something stupid (like hook my brother in the arm) or I would scare the fish away (by jumping in)!
Well, by now, you know where I’m going with this… yep, within 12 hours of our vacation, all the men were standing at a small tackle store purchasing fishing licenses. “Ok, why not?” I thought, “It’s a chance to hangout & kickback w/ the boys.”
I don’t own a fishing pole, tackle box or anything related to fishing, but that wasn’t a problem. My brother apparently brought the “Bass Pro Shop” with him! It was crazy! Every kind of fishing lure imaginable: big ones, little ones, shiny ones, spotted ones, feathered ones, slimy ones… some looked like fish, others like frogs, flies, worms… every color possible. Crazy! And, my big bro could tell me, without hesitation, what each one was made for: night fishing, bass fishing, trolling, casting… huh?! Ultimately, I came up with one obvious observation: You need a variety of lures IF you want to catch MORE fish!



One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee; he saw Simon and
his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed Him. Mark 1:16-18
My point to all of this simple: it takes ALL kinds of leaders to catch fish (people)! I’ve seen a lot of leadership/ministry teams that appear to be cookie-cutter duplicates of each other. It’s annoying and humorous at the same time. Questions flood my mind: “Do they get a group discount at The Gap?” …“Are soy lattes really better for you?” …”Can you go to heaven if you don’t attend Catalyst?”
I have the greatest staff in the world – they’re NOTHING like me! I’m sure that’s a huge relief to them. They are teachers, baristas, engineers, students, mommies, secretaries, information techs, managers, repairmen, waiters and soldiers. The only things my staff all have in common is this: they love Jesus with all their hearts, they’re addicted to winning, and they serve without pay! That’s right – no one receives a salary (and no one calls it ‘sacrifice’). Many of these heroes have moved here from all across the country & bought homes right in the inner city of Detroit just to be a part of the adventure! Crazy?? Not if you read the same book of Acts that we do!
Seems like, far too often, we hire friends, just like us, to play with us, hang out with us, eat with us and catch the same fish with us. When we’re not with them – we’re tweeting & retweeting them. What does that say about us? Now, for a bunch of you with paid staff, DON’T get your underwear in a knot over this – I’m not saying my way is the only way. That would be arrogant & ignorant. I’m simply asking you, me, US to consider our approach – look beyond our comfort zone, style, and look – in order to reach people not yet in your pond. Don’t allow a paycheck to replace calling & commitment.
For our staff, working in the market place brings a fresh passion & purpose to the ministry of our team. We’re here to catch fish! Diversity is key. And, it mobilizes our church to serve! We need every kind of lure possible! Jesus is the ultimate fisherman – we’re all sharp & ready for whenever He wants to put us on the line & cast us into the sea of humanity. We’re available!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” – oh man, I’m feelin’ that! Are you?
I’m so glad that God loves our uniqueness – He made us and designed us to reach some fish that no one else can catch! Get in His tackle box! Find a place where you can serve without conforming to the status quo. Diversity is a wonderful quality that we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.
Note: IF this hurt, I’m sorry – you’re not the first person I’ve hooked in the arm!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2009 12:53 pm

    It’s incredible to be on a team like we have at Real Church. We hear Paul’s words in Acts 20:24 and know nothing stands in our way from that kind of life. And when we look around, we know the Lord Jesus brought our team together – no one else could have! When you know you’re called (not just invited) then nothing knocks you off course. You’re in it to win it… together.

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