I just got through watching this video of Bill Murray sharing some stories with David Letterman and I am continually blown away by Bill’s life philosophy. I grew up watching Bill in movies like Meatball, Ghostbusters, Stripes and of course SNL. Little did I know I would grow up and write a post about why I’d want to be more like him.

Over the past few years I’ve heard a Bill Sightings (starting with crashing an engagement photo) but what others may see as eccentric or as an aging star trying to get attention, I see as a man giving back in amazing ways. Here are the qualities I most admire in Bill and what I’d like to see more of in my leadership style.

Spontaneity

Bill just shows up in everyday life. Bill makes decisions in the moment that seem crazy for a comedy legend of his magnitude to make but that’s why his legend grows. Doing the unexpected is a Christ-like quality every believer should embrace. Consider Jesus showing up a wedding and helping out the wedding party with new wine or Jesus showing up to a funeral and raising a widow’s son from the dead.

Like Jesus, and Bill, I want to take advantage of moments I am given or, better still, create moments that don’t exist, yet.

Generosity

Bill cares. The story of Bill driving the cab for a cab driver who plays sax but never has time to practice is an amazing example of generosity. What can I do for someone else that would give them the time to do what they love? How can I use a simple skill I have to make someone’s day brighter?

Being generous is a short term win that pays off long term if generosity is a lifestyle. Every excuse we can make, and Bill could have made but did it anyway, pales in comparison to joy we could experience if we’ll think about what we can let go of versus what we can hold on to. I think Bill would agree with the verse “It’s better to give than receive”.

Humility

Bill doesn’t think he’s a big deal.  Regardless of his star status,  Bill acts like one of the guys. I know I’m not a big deal but sometimes I can act like one. Social Media Expert and Entrepreneur  Gary Vaynerchuk makes time to do interviews with first time podcasters and shows love to start ups. Vaynerchuck, like Murray,  clearly understands where he comes and still relates to real people and their hopes and dreams.

Approachable

Bill is open to new ideas and opportunities. Bill tells the story of being asked to offer a toast at a bachelor party and it was a pretty good toast. Bill didn’t say, “Sorry guys, it’s just too small an opportunity. Call me when it’s bigger.” I don’t turn down a chance to speak at a youth group or youth worker network meeting no matter how small. I don’t know who may be in those meetings who may be a change agent that God is waiting to get a hold of. I always want to keep my eyes and heart open to the new.

Now, I could have used Jesus in all these examples (and let’s be honest, Bill is no Jesus) but if you are a believer, like me, we should already be able to spot the same moments from Scripture and be living them out. I believe these are missing qualities from the modern Christian playbook and our world and ministries would be very different if we practiced them.

So, Bill, thanks for embodying values leaders can grab a hold of and emulate even if you did not intend us to or maybe you did.

Your Turn

How might your ministry or business be different if you embodied these qualities?

How could you live out these qualities in practical ways?

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1 Comments

  1. Kristy


    I am an alumni of NET Ministries and a former employee of The St Paul Hotel. Mr Murray was a frequent guest during baseball season. He wasn’t our usual celebrity. He loved to interact with employees and guests. He always overtipped and often brought gifts and gave them out at random. I remember one day he paid the bellman $20 to “watch” his son carry his own bags. :). This is a very good and humble man.

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