Friday, January 14, 2011

A Random Encounter

I was flying back from Orlando this week and had a random encounter at the Orlando airport with well-known pastor Mark Driscoll. I was waiting out a flight delay, curled up in a lobby chair with my Perspectives in Missions textbook, completing homework assignments. Two gentlemen sat down next to me and one of them noticed (and recognized) my textbook. We struck up a conversation and then I realized who I was talking to! I actually recognized Mark's voice before his face, since Nate and I listened to his fantastic sermon series together on Song of Solomon last year (check it out here, if you're interested.) We got to chat for about 5 or 10 minutes and I enjoyed telling him how much we appreciated listening to his series. He was very chill, kind and down to earth.

Even though Mark might not be considered a "celebrity" by most, he is well known in the Christian community. After meeting him, I felt a little "star struck", like I had met a movie star or something. I think that feeling stemmed mostly out of the great respect I have for his teaching ability and charisma, which I believe are the reasons why he has become so well-known. But part of my star struck feeling made me feel a little juvenile. In reality, Mark Driscoll is just like you and me... he is a regular guy who has been given a gift and has obediently made that gift available for God's use. Rather than putting him up on a pedestal and praising him for how talented he is, I should instead be praising God for the fruitful ministry He has accomplished through Mark and many other gifted pastors. Mark isn't the star - God is!

Twenty years from now, after much experience and ministry in Austria, my hope would be that my life and ministry always point others to Christ and not to myself. Whether we help lead 1 person or 1,000 people to Christ in Austria, I hope no one ever puts me up on a pedestal. I'm guessing Mark feels the same way and my conversation on Wednesday was a good reminder of that.

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