Articles | Serving
Tony Myles

Tony Myles is a youth ministry veteran, conference speaker, author, volunteer youth worker and lead pastor of Connection Church in Medina, Ohio... and he really likes smoothies.

There’s a temptation inside of all of us to be seen and recognized as martyrs for the hard work we do.

This may be easier to spot in “needy” people who seem to serve to feel a sense of validation, but somewhere deep down you yearn for a moment where you can publicly express your exhaustion so others around you will feel your pain. If this is your trend, some other things may also be true of you:

  • You multi-task, usually accomplishing things right at the buzzer. You’re like Scotty from Star Trek, letting everyone know how busy you are in order to come across as an indispensable miracle worker at the last minute.
  • You sigh… a lot. It’s your passive-aggressive way of saying “I have it harder than other people do.” You’d never say that out loud, because you know it’s probably not true. Still, a sigh goes a long way at going nowhere.
  • c7You have people you can “shake your head” with. Much like your sigh, you’ve found it’s easier to criticize ideas or people without saying much out loud. Instead, you and a few others sometimes will look at each other in meetings and subtly shake your heads to acknowledge that the person speaking is something of an idiot.
  • You would rather do it yourself than teach someone else how to do it in your place. While you may have team members who work under you, they’re underwhelmed by how much you’ve delegated to them.
  • You push back more often than you realize. Author Les McKeown describes it this way: “Spend two days helping a martyr-leader master a filing system, and in two hours they’ll unpick every part of it. Try to explain the simplest of triage techniques, and they’ll have seven reasons why that’s a great idea, but not right for this situation, right now. Try to organize them in November, and they’ll tell you why it’s better to come back in January. Come back in January, and the goalposts will have moved to March.”

All off this, of course, raises a much deeper question…

Who is “Dangerdust?”

It’s a question that students and faculty at the Columbus College of Art and Design have been asking. Apparently two rogue students have been causing a “creative riot” by sneaking into a classroom each week and creating an artistic masterpiece out of nothing but chalk.

It’s sort of like Goodwill-Hunting-meets-Fame-meets-Blues-Clues.

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According to rumor, the pair are both seniors in Advertising & Graphic Design. Sometime over a weekend, they sneak in and use ordinary chalk to create inspiring wonder over the course of 10 to 12 hours.


Imagine walking into class and you see something outstanding like this.


There’s nothing political about it. Aside from random quotes from variousĀ  people throughout history, there really seems to be no agenda to it at all.


Or is there?

What if the sole purpose of what “Dangerdust” is offering is an anonymous act of service, meant to foster further anonymous acts of service?

c1When I was in high school I heard a passionate speaker say something at a youth group gathering that has always stayed with me:

“Do something for someone else without getting found out about it. That’ll check your motives, won’t it? This is what God does for you all the time. Now you go do it for someone else.”

It resonated with what Jesus taught: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

I don’t mean to presume that this is at all the motivation of the anonymous duo known as Dangerdust.

The real question is if this is at all the motivation of the inspirational things you do.

How service-minded are your teenagers? Take this short quiz to find out!

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