Leadership Means Taking a Risk – JUMP!

Posted: October 24, 2012 
Filed under: Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Jeff, Leadership, Pastor Jeff, Spiritual, Video, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship
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This article is the Good News column from the Wylie News on October 24, 2012.

You Can’t Be Afraid to Jump

Millions of people have watched video footage of Austrian Felix Baumgartner as he descended in a free-fall from the edge of space on Sunday, October 14th. He stepped
out of a capsule 24 miles above earth and jumped like he was stepping off the edge of a curb to cross a street. After over four  minutes of free-falling, and reaching a speed over 830 mph or Mach 1.24, he released his parachute for the final couple miles of his descent.

Sure it was incredible, but I did something even more amazing that same day. I did a 16-story free-fall without years of training and planning. I didn’t have a team at mission control documenting my every move. I didn’t have a worldwide audience.

To say I did it for the fun of it would be a lie. I did it for the lesson in it. I took some guys I’ve been mentoring this year to do it as part of a leadership lesson on stepping out in faith.

I found a place on the other side of the metroplex where they take you up a 16-story tower and basically drop you into a net below. It’s perfectly safe. There’s nothing to fear. If the net happens to fail, the ground will stop you. I didn’t find that detail very

I picked an activity associated with one of the most common fears in the human population – fear of heights. Unfortunately, the guys I had with me didn’t have a fear of heights. Which left their leader the only one deathly afraid of the activity. They laughed and found it thrilling. I screamed like a little girl. (No offense to little girls who are braver than I.)

The business providing our drop also has an opportunity to do a bungee jump. The guys I was with wanted to do it. Still light headed from my screaming during the free-fall drop, I agreed. I harnessed up. Climbed the tower. Was strapped to a giant rubberband. Our guide marched me out onto the platform and proceeded to count down to my jump. However, at the end of the countdown my legs wouldn’t move. I just couldn’t do it.

Some people live their entire life in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the worst case scenario. Fear of God. The Bible tells us God is love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4:18)
Sure, if you don’t know God, you might have reason to fear what you suspect He might be. But, for those who know Him through the loving grace of Christ, there’s no reason to live in fear.

What’s keeping you from taking the next step in a tough situation? If something has you paralyzed, push yourself beyond and discover how you can fly if you’ll just step off the platform and leap.

Nothing like hearing the voices of people you love yelling for you to jump off a ledge. I did jump from that platform. It wasn’t graceful, but I went. I’ll go again, because I learned that if you never jump you’ll never know what it feels like to fly.

–   Jeff Denton is lead pastor of Waterbrook Bible Fellowship in Wylie. Video proof exists online that proves he really did jump, but it’s not pretty. Reach Jeff at Jeff.Denton@Waterbrook.org.

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