Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Do-it-Yourself Surgery in 7 Steps

Do-it-Yourself Surgery in 7 Steps

I’ve never written a blog post from inside the confines of a doctor’s office, but unfortunately I’m stuck here all day. I’m having Mohs Surgery to remove more skin cancer.

As a child of the 70’s in Southern California I was painfully naive to the potential skin damage that was waiting in my future. Honestly, all I remember about sun protection was the Coppertone ads (and the girl’s bikini bottom being pulled down by a dog). Sunburns sucked, but being tan was a high value as a teenager, so Coppertone simply blocked my bronze potential. Instead of sunscreen, I opted for baby-oil (and Hawaiian Tropic).

Needles to say, 30 years later I have a very intimate and frequent relationship with my dermatologist. He’s a great guy, but standing before him in my underwear every 3 months while he scans every inch of my body, and then reports his findings to a nearby female scribe isn’t my idea of a party. But, it’s my reality.

Today, the cancer is being cut out. Then it will be evaluated. Then, if any signs of cancer are still remaining in the margins of the cut tissue, a larger cut is made. This procedure will continue today until the margins are clean and the cancer is gone.

In this quiet office I’ve been reflecting on the steps taken to eradicate the cancer and how they’re actually similar steps toward removing the cancer residing within one’s inner world.

Here’s what I’m thinking: what if those of us who follow Jesus charted a similar course that I take to rid myself of skin cancer?

Consider the similarities…here’s what I’ve done to treat the skin cancer:

1. I realized the need to be evaluated.

2. I went to someone who could help.

3. The “problem” areas were thoroughly investigated and recorded.

4. Surgical plans were made to eradicate the problem.

5. Surgery will be performed.

6. A close inspection follows to ensure the problem is eliminated.

7. A regular follow up is schedule to safeguard against the problem returning.

I realize that dealing with the dark issues that loom in the soul are much more difficult to identify than a mole or freckle changing its shape. But I also know that the insidious inner cancer within the heart of today’s leader is easy to hide.

Another year just passed and it was filled with stories and headlines of Christ-following leaders who didn’t tend to their inner world and their leadership died. At this time last year, they appeared “healthy” (at least from a distance) but their “inner cancer” wounded their ministries.

Pride. Untamed Anger. Lust. Selfish Ambition. Greed. Jealousy. Deep Insecurity. Revenge. Wounded Relationships. Lack of Forgiveness. Mean Spirit. Inappropriate Relationships.

What else?

What’s the sickness that you’ve been hiding that could destroy your leadership and/or ministry? Don’t tell me. Instead, find someone who can help you prepare for the needed surgery. Invite others to the table of honesty and deal with it before it deals out its own form of pain.

Please don’t allow another year to slip by without taking steps toward healing. None of us are immune.  

Previous articleHow Andy Stanley Handled a Heckler
Next articleFree Video Download: "Snowy Sky"
Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and former pastor to students at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of 50+ books, including the best-selling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry & Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry. He's also the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, an instructor at Azusa Pacific University/HomeWord, and on the leadership team with Youth Specialties. You can connect with Doug through his blog at www.downloadyouthministry.com! More from Doug Fields or visit/subscribe to Doug's blog at www.dougfields.com