This letter took shape in my mind from an impulse, "I want to encourage Young Adults to Vote!" Sitting down to write, I realized I was thinking of something far bigger than simply voting. Voting is only one small piece of exercising your vision in this world.
We share a future, and in that unfolding season my time of leadership is setting while yours is rising. I need to lift you up and make space at the head of the table, if I am to lead responsibly. I'm interested in your ideas, partnership and directions. My deepest wish is to be an advocate for you; to be an cheerleader for you; and if you desire, a mentor for you.
As a pastor, I could frame my hope of passing the mantel, and for strong community, with the stories and convictions of my faith. Indeed that's my personal foundation. But, I don't need to share my faith in order to offer my hope and invitation. I can just as easily call to you from a framework of vital community, making the point with best practices from many disciplines. My interest is not based on you agreeing with me! No matter how I slice it, your voice is necessary. Without you in the conversation around the table, the future is dim.
Here are my commitments and intentions:
- I'll listen to you. (And if you think I'm not listening, I want you to tell me.)
- I'll honestly share my thoughts, especially if you ask.
- I'll be as transparently me, as I know how.
- I'll give you genuine encouragement and feedback.
- I'll get it wrong sometimes. When I mess up, I will make amends.
- I will welcome your help on all these things and more.
When I was in my twenties, I remember serving on an regional education team that generously mentored me. Within two years, that group risked inviting me into leadership as chairperson. Looking back, I could not have filled that responsibility well without support and encouragement. I am deeply grateful for that trust, model, and mentoring. I am richer for it.
I seek to share that gift offered to me, not because I want you to do what I prefer, or to vote for the candidate that I like. My wish is to celebrate your gifts. I desire your participation, listening, and leadership. I have a responsibility to you, helping you to accomplish important and world sustaining things. I'd love to hear your insights and ideas.
So... I thought I'd start by asking. Maybe we can pull up a chair for coffee or a meal and talk? I'm looking forward to your reply.
10,000 Joys -- Dave Harris