|Years ago, I was pastoring a church in the city of Orange, and at the time, we were meeting in an old American Legion Hall building. We would bring in chairs on Sunday mornings and set up the auditorium like a sanctuary. Overall, it was a good arrangement, except for the fact that there was a bar right below us, which meant that we became accustomed to a bit of noise.
As the congregation grew, I asked my friend and mentor Dallas Willard to come and speak at a service one Sunday morning. As I was about to stand to introduce him, there was a sudden bang so loud that the three of us pastors shot out of our chairs to see what was happening. Many people were panicking and thinking it was a gunshot. Dallas, however, remained as calm as I imagine Jesus would have been. It turns out the noise was caused by a plywood sign falling onto the wooden floor of the hall, so nothing bad actually happened. What I will never forget, though, is what I learned that day from my friend about leading by example and being a calm presence.
Friend, a leader is calm and full of peace. They are a presence that others want to be around because they practice what they preach. Like Dallas, I encourage you to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that your walk of faith is tangible to those around you. When everyone else is panicking, be a person who is confident, with a rooted trust in Jesus that can’t be shaken. As you dwell near to Him, you will unhurriedly and unintentionally bring His presence to others, and you and the world will change as a result.