To Kevin, age 21,
You are just starting out. You and Veronica have only been married two years and your first son Jordan has just been born. Before you begin your journey, growing into the man you want to become, I would like to give you some advice.
You are very driven, and that is good thing, but don’t let your private desire to succeed for Him and make a difference in this world, be the driving force in your life. Even though your intentions are good, if you don’t run this race well, eventually your desire to make a difference could be replaced with a desire to be known… and that is where things could go dreadfully wrong.
Let the pure pursuit of Jesus in your private life be the driving force of who you are and what you do for Him. You will find out in just a few short years, that success in the public eye will be temporary at best, but what happens in your private times of prayer will give you strength when you are weak and impact your family for years to come.
Don't ever be afraid or ashamed of doing what others or even yourself may deem as small. You will find that it is the small things that make the biggest impact in you and those that will soon be around you. Simply do what God will call you to do and let Him take care of the size and so called results.
As you grow in Christ, leadership, and position. Pay more attention to your father than you do the “rising stars” of the Christian world that you will know and rub shoulders with.
Some of these men will achieve what most pastors and church leaders aspire to attain. They will all have large churches, nice salaries, and national book deals. Some will speak around the world and have a measure of Celebrity. However, you will soon discover that many will be absolutely miserable. Some will secretly struggle with pornography, others will be unfaithful in their marriage, succumb to addictions or have nervous break downs. These great men in the public eye will struggle greatly in their private life. They will fizzle out by the time they are in their mid 40’s, and begin by Gods grace, the struggle of putting their lives back together.
Your father on the other hand will be totally different then these men. He will Pastor three churches throughout your life, none of which will ever grow to more than 200 people in average attendance. He will shepherded well, preach the word, and steward money faithfully.
Your father will never be in the public eye and no articles will ever be written about his ministry. However, when he retires, he will be happily married, in perfect health, run 2 to 4 miles per day, and have no need for medication for any sort of physical or emotional ailment.
After faithfully serving for 30 years as a Senior Pastor, your father will have left a mark on everyone he had come in contact with. He will have run the race of faith and leadership the way it is supposed to be run.
Kevin, over the next several years many people are going to come and go in your life. During this time, watch your father closely. Follow his example, because he will soon be one of the happiest and most content men that you know.
Never stop serving Veronica.
Always put your children before your ministry.
Do what God calls you to do, even when it hurts and you will experience more than you ever dreamed.
Trust me. The best is yet to come!