At some point in life, we’ve all experienced FOMO—fear of missing out. It’s that feeling of thinking you should be somewhere else, while trying to make the most of where you are. Surprisingly, one of the places where this is most common is in ministry.
Sitting down to talk on this exact subject were Gil Acevedo, Nolan Umana, and Mingo Palacios — all next gen leaders passionate about aligning their position with that of God’s will.
Together, they tackled the topic of being crafted for a potential position or specific space, and recognizing the importance of attitude in the moment. Sometimes, that simply means showing up and doing your best to focus on your performance, rather than examine the “competition.”
It’s human nature to look at ministry partners and peers, and want to be in a better place—to examine our abilities and to feel like they don’t align with our ministry role.
“It’s a daily thought process that I go through,” says Nolan. “But I know I’m here for a reason. God’s called me to where I’m at and I’ve got to be content. When I have that attitude first thing in the morning, my day is totally different. It’s something that fulfills me because I’m content with where I’m at and then I have an opportunity to serve.”
Mentally starting with this posture of contentment manifests proactiveness instead of reactiveness. It’s a humble moment of coming into the reality that in God’s eyes we were created special, yet recognizing that we’re not the only one who can do the job.
For Mingo, that means being confident in who the creator made him to be, he says. “I’ve always suffered more when my head was on a swivel, when I was looking left and right, wondering what my brother in ministry was doing. When I understand and trust that my Maker has me on a plan for development, maturity, and growth— and that he has me on a timetable—I know that he will not shipwreck me.”
For all three ministry leaders, they constantly strive to build a platform that they can someday give away, and even hand off to grow, evolve, and become even better. That desire to leave a legacy ultimately influences and impacts more people for the Kingdom.
“Sometimes where you’re at is not where you think you should be,” explains Mingo. “But it still has every opportunity to shine as bright as God made you to be. Sometimes being in the margins is the best place for you to develop that which is going to be on display once God has you ready for the main space. But if you try to exit the margins too soon, you’ll never mature. You’ll never come to the fullness that God has intended.”
Staying within the margins clearly requires discipline. It requires focusing on the daily habits of drawing closer to our identity in Christ, and knowing that his plan is far greater than anything we could ever imagine. This mindset of patience is especially challenging in a generation that is used to getting things done quickly. Yet quality will come from taking time where time needs to be taken.
“It goes back to being patient, willing to learn and listen, and humbling yourself,” says Nolan. “It also means getting rid of the ego and asking, ‘What am I going to learn today?’”
It’s not only learning each day, but also celebrating each day, explains Mingo. Too often we wait for the biggest achievements while we should be celebrating each stepping stone as a milestone.
“The truth is that in God’s economy,” Mingo adds, “there are no small efforts.”