So we’re two weeks into the Courage series w/ Francis Chan… 

Aside from sharing the same haircut, he and I share a lot of the same convictions regarding discipleship and what it means and takes to follow Christ. 

But beyond that…

There is a lot that I am picking up in watching and going through this series, and not just the content… I am learning how to be a better teacher.  Francis has a way of putting things that is so soft, yet so forceful.   I’ve been told I teach with a sledgehammer and I can’t really dispute that claim… it’s true.  Francis Chan also teaches with a sledgehammer.. but he wields it like a paintbrush.

He sculpts what is there whereas I level to create anew.

Neither is right or wrong, but there is more compassion *in his words* than in mine. Both of us teach from our hearts, but he is, oh, just a tad bit more refined, I suppose.

I know that I have a very forceful personality.  I know that I can, at times *seem* unapproachable.  I know that I am a work in progress.  I know that I am trying to soften the edges of who I am (but without altering who He has made me into – it gets tricky here)

– In short, I’m aware of my flaws – 

What it all comes down to is this.. we ALL need someone who we can relate to. 

However; Some of us choose to relate DOWN so that we don’t have to do any work to fit in or so that we don’t have to do any work on who we are.  It’s just so much easier to drift than it is to swim.

I hear a lot of people say “Jesus is my role model” and that’s FANTASTIC!  We should all aspire to live a Christ like life.  We should absolutely put all of our eggs (eggs being hopes, dreams, faith and life) into that basket… but… take it back a step.

Going from You to Jesus is a (narrow) highway.. it’s a long trip, not a drive down the block.

How are you going to gauge your progress?  What are your mile markers?

We all NEED role models.  Positive influences in our lives that help us attain our goals.  It is OK to have people whom we look up to.  It is OK to model aspects of our behavior on PEOPLE who are LIVING their faith.  (It’s not OK to try to BE that person though, so be careful – you are YOU, not THEM)

These people can be people we know, or people we don’t.  Relationships don’t impact what we can learn from people if we’re merely taking notes on parts of them…

For instance:  

-I want to soften my delivery… I can shape my delivery in the style of someone like Francis Chan

-I want to be more process driven… I can model my going about of daily tasks after my Senior Pastor, Greg Freeze.  (I just bought another year of work w/ that one)

-I want to be more approachable… I can change pieces of my demeanor to be more like Matt Reeve.

We all know or know of people who have qualities that we admire and that we KNOW would be pretty cool to be able to emulate…  We all have areas in our life where we need improvement.  It’s OK to take a bit from OTHERS to help create a better YOU.

-Make a list of 10 people of faith who have qualities you admire.  
-Make another list of areas in your life that you KNOW you need to work on.

See what matches up and slowly try to shape who you want to become.  (Ask them for help, if they’re accessible)

It’s like any plan you otherwise might have.  It’s a 5 year/10 year/25 year goal list.  You have to have steps along the way to ensure your success.. you need benchmarks to see what you’ve achieved.  You need a road map to get to your final destination (Jesus).

And while the Bible is far and away the best map.. sometimes you don’t know how to read it or even what direction you’re headed…

And that’s where the mile markers come in.