The Law Of The Bigger Yes!

Last night my plans for the next day suddenly changed with a  simple text.  Cam asked if I could meet him at the Denver airport for breakfast before he left on a family vacation in Colorado. My one word response was an emphatic one, “Absolutely!”

I immediately set aside previous plans because I suddenly had a bigger yes burning inside me! Some days are like that,  when we experience a life-enriching opportunity that changes everything for the better. Few people in my life lift my spirits more than my 45-year friend, Cam Huxford. As Paul once said of his young protege, Timothy, “I have no one else like him!”

It’s been said that you can’t go out and make old friends, you either have them or you don’t!  I’m blessed to have many good friends, both old and new. Virtually all of them have been been made the same way…slowly. I have cultivated them over the years by making time for them as they have made time for me. They are always part of the bigger yes of my life.

My work is all relational. At times that can be inconvenient and even exhausting, but more than anything it is deeply fulfillingI know that this is what I am called to do, namely to encourage Christian leaders, and especially to connect them with one another. This is my passion, it’s my bigger yes!

Someone once said that to leave a lasting legacy we must live for something definite. My definite desire is to end the soul crushing burden of pastoral isolation. I know first hand that the isolated leader is the vulnerable leader. I’m out to help change that, and almost every day God gives me the privilege of catalyzing life-enriching connections for others. This is deeply gratifying.

Over the years I’ve called it “The Law of the Bigger Yes!” I believe there is no substitute for having an unshakable sense of ought-ness that a certain something must be addressed … now!  I resonate with the apostle Paul who wrote: “… I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race, and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me…” Paul knew what his task was, and clearly stated it in Acts 20, “the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Wess Stafford, once said, “If you can’t clearly state your purpose in 30 seconds or less, you’re not fully alive!”  Wess is the former leader of Compassion International, serving as a powerful voice for at risk kids around the world. He clearly knew what his life assignment was all about. He lived with a clear mission that made his heart beat fast for those with broken hearts from impoverished homes. He lived with a sense of divine unction, a holy calling, a bigger yes!

The ultimate Big Yes is the same, for every Christian leader, namely to serve well and finish well. But sadly, most do not. The majority of those who began with high hopes and grand plans stumbled somewhere along the way. It wasn’t necessarily due to a major failure or fall, but rather due to a slow soul leak of courage due to a dearth of in-depth encouragement. At times everyone in leadership knows what that feels like. That’s why everyone needs his “vital few” whom he can turn to for perspective and strength of soul.

What’s your Big Yes, and do those closest to you know what it is? Once again, the apostle Paul has said something about that, “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.” 2 Timothy 3:10

We all need to see ourselves, and to be seen by our vital few, as devoted to something that is bigger than ourselves.

  • What is that for you? 
  • Who are those for you? 

2 Comments

  1. “All my work is relational” is the lesson every pastor must learn. And, it is easily overlooked in our busy culture of “accomplishment.” Thanks, Alan, for this word to be immersed in relationship with God, others, and myself so that I do not succumb “to a slow soul leak of courage due to a dearth of in-depth encouragement.” My Covenant Group experience provided the team encouragement, the personal encouragement, and the equipping to develop others into hearty followers of Jesus!

  2. You once said that there is great value in long obedience in the same direction. It has certainly been my experience that this this is how that “Bigger Yes” is cultivated, clarified and becomes more gripping. It is just like you describe making old friends–slowly. Thank you for the encouragement!

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