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About Richard M Potter

Thank you for visiting. I am a writer, musician, husband, father, and very grateful son of God.

My mission is to help people discover their purpose and redeem it (i.e. cash it in) for personal benefit, community improvement, and affirmation of the Creator.

My writing offers tips, advice, and stories on how I and others are redeeming our purpose to make the world a better place, both here and now and for all eternity.

background

That's me (standing) in 1976 with my musical partner-in-crime, Dan Picht.

I was born on the trailing edge of the Baby Boom and often felt like I was born a day late and a dollar short. As a young guitarist I believed that if only I had been born in 1948, like, say, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, then I could have “made it” with all of those really GOOD musicians. One need look no further than Michael Jackson (born the same year as I was) to realize pitiful nature of my excuse and the fallacy that “making it” in those terms would offer any sense of fulfillment. Regardless, I allowed it to hold me back. I hestitated to start college, and did that only because I hesitated to get into a band and go on the road in the year after I graduated high school.  I hesitated to get married after two false starts and canceled engagements. And because I never “made it” as a musician I hesitated to continue playing, almost convinced that it was not an appropriate activity for a “responsible” adult.

Then in 1996 we moved to Kansas City and joined Shoal Creek Community Church the following year. It was a small church with a gutsy approach: use drama and popular music to reach people who were searching for answers to spiritual questions. My wife, Tracy, joined the drama team and I joined the music team. The church band recorded a CD of original music in 1998. In 1999 Kerry Livgren, founder of the 1970s rock band Kansas and composer of the rock classics Carry On Wayward Son and Dust In the Wind, performed those songs with us as part of our Easter service. My dreams had come true; on a small scale, but true nonetheless. And that was only the beginning.

In 2000 the Shoal Creek music director confessed to an affair and resigned from his position. Roy Moran, the Chief Agitator (don’t call him Pastor; he hates that), asked me if I would fill the void. He couldn’t pay me, nor could he promise that it would lead to a paid position in the future. I’d have to keep my full-time job as chief fundraiser for a national nonprofit based in Kansas City. I couldn’t see how I could do it, and I couldn’t imagine turning it down. I had finally found a way to play the music I loved and serve a greater purpose. I hesitated — such is my nature — then took a deep breath, a huge leap of faith, and said “Yes.”

The first couple of weeks were full of chaos. What songs will we play? How will we get recordings and charts distributed? Who will schedule rehearsals? But people rose to the challenge and pitched in to help. “What transpired was the beginning of an atmosphere of teamwork that we hadn’t seen previously,” remembers Tim Backs, one of the lead singers at the time. “We were all amazed when within three months we looked around and noticed the music ministry was better than ever.” Better than ever, despite the loss of a full time staff member whose musical talent far surpassed my own. Better than ever, despite my mistakes and insecurities. And contrary to what I feared, I prospered in my job as well. In the five years that I led the music team, my salary increased over 25%.

my next chapter

In my 9-5 job I was a professional fundraiser. Most of the money I raised came through written grant proposals to corporations and foundations. After turning over the music team leadership to a newly-hired staff member I began to get restless. I had been in fundraising since 1985. It wasn’t a horrible career choice, but I felt like it had played its course. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to use my writing skills in the same way that I used the guitar to serve a greater purpose. Fortunately my boss approved and allowed me to write these articles to promote our organization’s mission. I wrote additional articles on my own time and the seeds of Purpose Redemption began to take root.

I believe God gave you a specific purpose, something that you and only you can accomplish during your lifetime. Your purpose is a lot like a manufacturer’s coupon. It is good for a limited time (corresponding to the expiration date on your tombstone); it’s worth nothing until you redeem it; and as you redeem it your satisfaction is guaranteed. Does that resonate with you? Is there a passion burning inside that might cause you to explode if you don’t find a release valve? Or, has a once burning passion faded to a mere flicker? I can tell you from experience that it’s never too late to say “Yes.” But if you hesitate too long, your passion may disappear altogether.

Ten years ago I really started to click with my purpose. Now I want to give others the benefit of my experience. My goal is to help as many people as possible discover their purpose and redeem it for personal benefit, community improvement, and affirmation of the Creator. If that sounds good to you, I invite you to subscribe to email updates via this blog.

You may be well on your way to redeeming your purpose; if so, I’d like to hear about it and invite you to join me in the crusade. The story of your purpose redemption needs to be told and may inspire others to go and do likewise!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2011 8:28 am

    Richard,

    So glad I met through via Shirley from 100 memoirs. I can tell from your “About Me” page, and the story you’ve submitted to the “My Gutsy Story” contest, that you are truly authentic and unique. I caught one of the reasons: you mentioned Creek Community Church was a small church with a gutsy approach. Glad to meet you. Sonia Marsh/ Gutsy Living.

    • December 7, 2011 8:56 am

      Likewise, Sonia, I am grateful to Shirley for leading me to you and your web site. Yes, Shoal Creek Community Church is gutsy, to say the least! Thank you for your comments, and I look forward to future interactions with you.

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  1. Redeem Your Purpose: Four Questions & Two Activities « Richard M Potter on Purpose

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