From One Chair to Another

I was asked to serve as a trustee during a transitional time in North Greenville University’s history. As I finish my final stint on a 5-year term, our board has asked me to serve as chair.

I was surprised to have been asked to serve as a trustee, and I was blindsided by the request to serve as chairman.

I don’t know exactly what my concept was of the ideal Board of Trustee members, but I was certain I wasn’t one of them. This process has taught me much about perspective and perception.

During these first four years, we have hired Dr. Gene Fant as president, added critical positions to an incredible faculty and staff, strengthened an already strong school, and embarked upon some incredible initiatives going forward. These are very special days.

When someone asked Dr. Fant about the makeup of the board of trustees, he replied, “It says something about their outlook when they desire a trustee to serve as chairman who is an alum, a pastor, and under 50 years old.”

To which I replied, “Under 40 years, actually.”

Let’s not rush this any more than it already is. 😉

It does say something. It shows that our board is committed to the core values of being Christ-centered, biblically faithful, academically excellent, and mission-focused.

Here’s what I know:

  1. This school seeks to be an institution where Christ makes the difference.
  2. While honoring the legacy of the past, we are able to build towards an even more promising future.
  3. I am amazed at the leadership that God has brought to this school to take a great institution into even greater places.
  4. Our board is a group of unique, stellar, godly, committed people.
  5. The students there make me want to grow up and be like them. They are legends.
  6. While higher education across the United States is experiencing challenging trends, the strength of NGU and its supporters is amazing.
  7. We are successfully equipping students to be transformational leaders for church and society.
  8. I want to invest in others the way my mentors there invested in me.

I don’t want to be someone who benefits from the sacrifices of others just to turn my focus when it’s time for me to give back.

It is so easy to dedicate to an organization when it benefits you and ignore it when it needs you.

While I don’t think NGU needs me (there are plenty of people far better suited than myself to serve in this capacity), I do believe it is my responsibility to give back. Every organization is built upon those who prioritize serving the ones coming behind.

I never expected to have been asked to sit in this chair at North Greenville University. But if I can help lead in such a way that others can benefit a fraction of what I did, it is worth it all.

I was blessed by my time at NGU. It’s time for me to be a blessing.

I never sought to be in this “chair.” The actual first chair I sat in at NGU must have been one in the admissions office. As a 17-year-old kid trying to work out a call to the ministry, I sat in Andy Ray’s office and heard the heart of a school that was unlike anything else I had encountered. My interactions with faculty, staff, and students sealed the deal. I wanted to be around people like this because they made me want to pursue Jesus more.

From that chair to this one, I am confident of this – God used my time at North Greenville to change me.

Every part of who I am as a disciple-maker today can be traced back to those pivotal, formative four years.

In that first chair, I caught a vision of how that school could change me.

In this chair, I want to carry that vision of how I could help that school change others.

Let the work begin continue.