After a last second field goal to win the game, Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt talked to the media. A reporter asked Richt what he told his kicker before he kicked the game winner. “I told him ‘I want you to know I love you no matter what happens…'” Richt recalled. He continued, “…I think student athletes, and people in general sometimes feel like when I produce, I am lovable and if I don’t produce then I am not worthy of love.” The concept Coach Richt is talking about is directly in line with what I have learned this year from my association with Generation Sigma. “Gen Sig” is a ministry within Cru designed to be “A relational network of Cru staff and college and student men who want to grow personally and spiritually for a lifetime.”
Being involved with Gen Sig is one of the perks from my time working with Oklahoma State Cru. In my four months on staff, I have already learned 5 timeless principles from being involved with Gen Sig. Here are the 5 things that have greatly enriched my spiritual life:
My Value is Not Dependent Upon My Success
This is the essence of what Coach Richt told his kicker. It is simple, but the depth and richness of this principle continue to unfold in my spiritual life. David English, the Director of Generation Sigma writes to great detail about this idea in his book “Banners of Bonding.” He talks about the implications of a world where value is equivalent to success, and states “…the world seems to makes sense but its reality is one of death and not life.”
2. Intimacy with God as First Priority
Being a follower of Christ, my tendency is to focus on doing things for God instead of having intimacy with God. Dan Boone, the Campus Director at Oklahoma State Cru and a leader within Gen Sig, has been great to remind me to have intimacy with God first. Once this is done, then do things for God out of an overflow of that intimacy.
3. Accept Responsibility for My Sphere of Influence
Accepting responsibility does not come naturally to me. Blaming others does. Just ask my brother. Through Gen Sig I have come to understand that God has given me a sphere of influence to steward. A few of the areas that this includes are my ability to live missionally, my marriage, my family and my spiritual growth. I am the only one responsible for ensuring that my sphere of influence is being used in the way that God intended.
4. Entitlement Leaves Scars
The idea of God giving me blessings and not me being owed things is one that I have to work hard to apply. My Dad once told me “I want you to have an easier life than I did.” I appreciated his desire to care for me, however the unintended consequences created an expectation of ease in all areas of my life. This caused me to reject my responsibility to steward things well, largely due to the fact that I was accustomed to having someone else steward my life for me. I have to focus on trusting God’s plan and stewarding well to counter entitlement.
5. Serve Men
As a follower of Christ, it is my responsibility to have a spiritual impact on the people God has put in my sphere of influence. Often times my goal is to have people notice me for living in this manner. However, I have learned one of the most successful ways influencing people works is by serving them. Constantly elevating the men around me instead of trying to elevate myself over them is a battle. However, its the best way to lead men.
I am thankful for Generation Sigma and its leaders who have influenced me. If you have been involved with Gen Sig, leave a comment on what you have learned. Also if you are male student at OSU, I encourage you to be apart of Gen Sig and grow in your understanding of these 5 principles and countless others. Here is a link to the events page and what is going on this semester.