1. There is beauty in the small things
When I was volunteering with World Vision Australia I was privileged to interview Stephen with a group of young activists. One things which is frozen in my mind is how Stephen seemed to come alive when surrounded by a small group of activists. I know he is charismatic, but he is also used to performing in front of large groups of people. Yet something lit up in him when he told us that we as a small group of people who cared about poverty and human trafficking will be the ones who change the world.
Life is a constant revaluation of our own path. Many who are who we want to be are not happy and want what we have. We don't have to be famous to live the good life or change the world, we have to be committed.
2. There is a time and a place
I distinctly remember Stephen saying to me that his dreams are bigger than Anberlin. Although he plays internationally sold out shows, he will be called to do bigger smaller things. Sometimes we try to qualify what we do by the quantity of people that see it. But there are so many macro-ideological yet micro-relational things we are each called to.
3. There is grace in honesty
4. There is honesty in grace
I have also realised that Stephen believes it is important for leaders to not hide away their shadow self. In a recent interview Stephen was actually grateful to be able to reveal publicly the things he struggles with. In an age where our idolised leaders are caught up in a web of lies and scandals, taking the initiative of stepping down from the pedestal is unusual yet admirable. It means coming to terms with the gap between the 'is' and the 'ought', but it also separates us from the captivation of denial.
5. Practice, don't preach
Here is my 2009 Interview with Stephen Christian from Anberlin and Anchor & Braille.