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Over the years I’ve had a lot of leadership positions. When I was 10, we moved to Houston. The youth group at the church we attended ended up being my lifeline since I was starting a brand new school in sixth grade without knowing a soul. The youth minister there was such an amazing individual. He constantly empowered us to take ownership with the ideas that we had. On one occasion when I complained that the sermon was too boring and we wanted a class during the service since we were too old for Bible hour, he informed me that he didn’t have the bandwidth to do it himself (although he didn’t use the word bandwidth since the Internet wasn’t invented yet). Instead, he said that I could organize, design, and lead the class myself. He then sat down with me and helped me craft my very first lesson. I chose to talk about taking off the mask that we show everyone and being real. It impacted my entire life to come.
Unfortunately, a year later he and his family moved. As you can imagine, we were devastated. A father of a friend of mine in the youth group loaded up his son, myself, and another friend in their conversion van and drove us down to Freeport off the Gulf of Mexico to cheer us up. We didn’t even really pack anything. We just went straight to the beach. We tied raw chicken legs to poles and dipped them in the water by our feet to catch crabs. We ate the crabs over an open fire and slept in the van right there on the beach. It was great fun but on day two he let us know that he had actually brought us there to talk over something fairly serious....
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