As a church planter we are always busy. We are busy from the time that we get the call from God to the time we launch our first public service. Once you have launched your first public service, the question becomes, “How fast do I run now?” I have been leading The Rock church in Los Angeles for the past 8 years. There have been so many stories of redemption, transformation, pain, and celebration that I can’t even list them all.

 But after 8 years, I have gotten the itch to go do it again. That is one of the things about having the apostolic gift in your life. You love to start new things. When you are not starting new things, you can begin to feel “stuck” in your calling. One of the best ways out of that “stuck” feeling is to “run the race.”

I used to run track in high school. I did the 200 meter hurdles as well as the 100 meter hurdles. I was only 5’6” and everybody else was 6 feet tall and above. The only way I was able to keep up with these guys was to pace myself with the one who was the fastest. In other words, I’d find out who on my track team was the fastest hurdler, and I would train with him. I would set my personal bar based on his fastest time.

I have taken that same mentality with leadership.

I have learned that if you are going to run this race well, you have to be able to run with the best. You cannot always be the smartest or the most talented or gifted individual in the room. So if you want to grow and win this race, you have to continue putting yourself around people and in places where you feel the slowest. Doing that puts you in the mindset of always having a challenge before you, and a goal that you need to reach. When you get to the point where you’re the smartest and the best, you’ll get stuck there and feed your ego until eventually you stunt your own personal growth.

 My encouragement to leaders, especially those who are planting churches, is to put yourself around people who are more gifted and talented than you. Set your pace based on their’s, and focus on meeting that challenge as you move forward in what God is calling you to do. If you run your race and stay in your lane, there is a crown waiting for you in the end. The prize ultimately is the word from our master that says, “My good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, now let me make you ruler of many.”

May we all learn to run our race well.