CULTURE OF SECOND FIDDLE
I love dinner parties because sharing a meal with others is my true love language. I am in my third dinner party of my time here at C3 NYC and I am extremely grateful for how people’s devotion to me has grown my faith in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Before coming to C3 NYC, I didn’t feel comfortable praying out loud. Carroll Gardens Dinner Party taught me how to pray for others. My leaders pushed me past limits I set for myself and gave me room to grow. Before joining team, I didn’t feel comfortable letting my personal life and my faith life mesh, for fear of judgment on either side. I always felt like I was living two separate lives that couldn’t be reconciled. Ridgewood Dinner Party taught me how to be bold in my faith, tuning into the Holy Spirit urging me to use my gifts for the kingdom. Before becoming a Dinner Party leader, I didn’t think I was capable of leading; I was too flawed and had made too many mistakes. Greenpoint McCarren Dinner Party taught me that we don’t lead from a place of being flawless and knowing all the answers, but out of an understanding that none of us are perfect and we all need Jesus.
I’ve learned that putting others first benefits the whole body of the kingdom. My nature to serve and put others before myself has always looked like modeling my life after Jesus, whether I knew it before or not. When I see myself diverting from this mindset, I think, does this feel right? Do your actions and thoughts align with your heart right now? A heart pointed to Christ isn’t immune from making mistakes, but is aware of times when there needs to be room for grace. If I want to love from the center of who I am, and that’s modeled after the heart of God, I need to practice looking inward to check my heart. Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to pour into me and create abundance so I can pour into others? Am I taking myself too seriously and not playing second fiddle?
Asking myself these questions is a nice reminder that life is always about me. Prayer doesn’t always mean that everything I want will come to pass. Being bold in my faith doesn’t mean I won’t ever be faced with opposition. Leadership isn’t always straightforward and easy. But at the center of it all, when I turn all of these things to focus on others, it readjusts my heart. Who can I be praying for instead of just praying for myself? Who can I show what real Christ-like love looks like? Who can encourage through my experiences and authenticity? Turning my heart from inward to outward has been pivotal for me. There is no room for a selfish heart when you let Christ into it, and there is no losing when you let the Holy Spirit in. You go after the one.
— LESHAUN JONES