Dumb Things Leaders Do 02 The Comparison Trap

Random] The grass looks greener on the other side? | by Mridu Bhatnagar |  Medium

One of the things leaders seem to do a lot is compare themselves to others. It’s what I call “The Comparison Trap”. It is amazing what people compare – attendance, offerings, salary, car, houses, responsibilities, miracles, fruitfulness, achievements, pulpits you preach for, anything it seems that can be compared is compared. This is not wise. In fact Scripture says this:

12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Cor. 10.12)

Comparing yourself to someone else is one of the most harmful things a leader can do. So why do we all do it – because it is part of the nature of our flesh! We need to learn to live above it, and walk in the spirit! The root of it all can be found in Jame’s epistle:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3.13-16, KJV)

Comparison comes from envy. You look at someone else and think – how is he the senior pastor, I can preach better than him, I can care about people better than him, I can disciple people better than him. It comes from selfish ambition – I want to be in that seat, preach from that pulpit and drive the car.

A lot of people who compare in the kingdom – look back at their lives, you will find they compared long before they entered the kingdom. They looked at their school friends – how did he get a girlfriend like that, how did he get those grades, how can he beat me at football? They looked at their work friends and thought similar things, and now they have brought that selfish ambition into the kingdom.

There is nothing wrong with ambition, but selfish ambition causes us to compare with others, and that is always foolish. Here are three symptoms you are in the comparison trap and need to get out:

  • You cannot rejoice with the success of others. Another pastor raises the dead, or has a fruitful meeting, or helps someone, and due to envy you cannot rejoice in them, you just compare yourself with them and wonder why it was not you.
  • You are now discontented with what God has called you to do. You are frustrate with where you are, and unhappy that you are not there.
  • This discontentment will start to cause a breakdown in communication between you and God, and eventually affect your family too.

Now if you are reading this and think “Hey, I am in this trap, how do I get out, I want to be back in the joy I have with Jesus, and the contentment of doing what He wants me to do”, then how do you do it?

Well, I would start by taking responsibility for your attitude. It’s your fault and it’s sin. So confess it, repent of it, and I would tell those around you.. Tell the person you are jealous of if you know them and ask for them to pray for you.

Then, to move forward, learn contentment with where you are, and what you are doing, and what God is doing for you. Be grateful for your place in the body.

So many leaders compare, it is frightening. The ministry can be a lonely place full of people with selfish ambition, envy and a competitive spirit. I go to some pastor’s conference and they immediately want to know our income, our salary, our headcount on a Sunday, all of it – just to compare with me. Don’t compare yourself with someone else, compare yourself with where you could be – with what you dream of doing. I do not have the same calling as you, the same gifts and the same personality – you cannot be me as well as I am me, but no one can be you better than you, so compare yourself with yourself!

I am not saying sit on your backside and go here I am, this is all I could be. No, you can improve and grow – but into a better you, not another someone-not-you. No two snowflakes are alike, no two leaves are alike, and no two ministries and callings are alike. I am going to be the best Ben Conway in the world – I am unique, and I am glad I am not like you. I am glad you do not have the mix of callings, wisdom, personality and desires I have. You could never do what I do. So don’t try, find out what you are called to do and do it.

Be yourself – everyone else is taken. A lot of you know that at a crucial point of being called to ministry, Peter actually asked Jesus “what about John”. Jesus basically replied – that’s none of your business. Do not enter the comparison trap – Peter and John both had very different ministries, gifts, personalities and destinies. But I am glad my Bible has 1 Peter and 1 John and both are a real blessing to me.

Comparing is you saying “God, I am unhappy with you, and how you made me”. Never do that. Be who you are designed to be, and be the best one. Maybe someone else is seeing huge harvests right now. Rejoice with them, and get ready for your harvest. I am assuming you have seed in the ground, of course!

I hope if this is a mistake you are making, a foolish thing you are doing that you repent. That you change, that you deal with it. That you learn not to be so vain, so selfish, so foolish. Life is not about you – it’s about Jesus. And I hope that you find out how to be the best you you can be and have the most fruitful life above all you can ask or imagine.

Dumb Things Leaders Do 01 Making Ministry Your Idol

IDOLATRY: Money, Family, Sex, Sports, Guns and Power | VirtueOnline – The  Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism

I want to do a short series on the kind of mistakes leaders make, the dumb things leaders do. I thought I would start with the dumbest thing any Christian leader can do, and sadly, it’s something almost all of us have done. We make ministry an idol. We make ministry our god, and displace Jesus of Nazareth. 1 John 5.21 tells us to keep ourselves from idols, and sadly, ministering to and serving others can easily become an idol. The NLT says to keep away from anything that might take the place of God in your heart. That is what we need to do.

We get so busy doing ministry, we forget to spend time with the Lord, we forget to spend time worshipping, fellowshipping, listening, learning, reading and feeding the Word of God. As the leader then loses their sweet walk with Jesus, ministry becomes the centre of their thoughts, their love, their time, their everything. That is a terrible place to be in.

Some signs that we have replaced Jesus in the number one place in our hearts with our ministry:

  • We are never sitting down listening to another preacher. We go to the conference, soar in, do our bit and soar out again. We never listen to a CD of anyone else.
  • We cannot delegate to others well
  • We cannot and do not worship, we find people to help and things to do during the worship part of the service.
  • We get obsessed with results and lose our joy and gratitude
  • We are not “there” when we are with our spouses and children.
  • We have this sense of always running on the fumes, just constantly giving and never receiving.
  • We becoming uncorrectable. When people tell us the mistake we are making, it cannot get through to us

Ministry is awesome, it really is. Being chosen by Jesus Christ of Nazareth to feed His sheep and help His people is a true honour and a glorious thing. But ministry cannot meet your needs – only Jesus can. I have seen more than one minister minister because when people appreciate them it meets a deep need for appreciation. Other people have the need to be in control, the need to be in charge, the need to be needed. John Maxwell once said “People who need people cannot lead people”. All of us, especially leaders, need to turn to Jesus for our acceptance, our love, our sense of worth, not our ministry. Or else you will fail as a leader, you will become either a spineless people-please or go the other way and become an angry prophet, convinced of your own press releases and utterly unteachable or changeable.

We need to have Jesus in the highest place in our heart, not our ministry. We need to look to Jesus for our place of rest, not our ministry. We need to get our identity from Jesus, not our ministry, not what we do.

Some people sadly make idols of their spiritual leaders – they put a Bible teacher or TV minister in the place of Jesus Christ, and that is idolatry. But, if the leader is a good leader – then they will lead that person to lean on Jesus rather than them. They will consistently point to Jesus and lead people to the Chief Shepherd. But when a leader idolizes himself, then who can lead them out of it? It’s not easy! And it will lead to pain. If you are a Christian leader and you have enough humility and self-awareness to realize you are idolizing ministry and gaining your strength and identity from what you do, not who you are – then it is time to fix it.

  • First of all, realize it is an issue and repent before God. Tell Him honestly what the issues are and start to ask the Lord for wisdom. Turn to the Lord!
  • Second of all, make sure you are praying and in the Word not just to prepare sermons, but to feed yourself. Start to spend time with the Lord just because! If you need to take time off from ministry, take that time off, it’s important. If you think the world will fall apart if you rest, that is a sign of how back the problem is.
  • Thirdly, make sure you have ministers in your life who have gone further than you speaking into your life and ministering to you. Regularly press pause on life and learn from others.

Create a Better Future for Others 05: Unveil God’s Will to People

UNVEILED — ReyNaz Church

If you are a leader of people, especially in a church context, one of the questions that many people will ask you is this: why am I here? They may re-phrase it, what is my purpose, what has God called me to do, what should I do for the rest of my life. But is all comes back to this: what is God’s will for my life?

Hopefully you have asked those questions yourself and you are serving God’s people and in ministry because you are aware that you are called by God and that it is God’s will for you to be doing this. It is good to be able to answer that question yourself, but you have to be able to help others’ find their answers too.

It’s great to be able to tell people (truthfully – because this is how God has designed it) that they can do something great with their life, that God has designed them to be champions, that they can create something on planet earth that is both unique and worthwhile. But people will still want to know – well, that’s great, but what exactly has God called me to do?

We all start off with remarkable potential, some of us are blessed with great parents and teachers who have given us divine principles from a very early age. We are then fed a wealth of information what other people have discovered and we can find out – hey, I excel at this, I enjoy this, I don’t like this, I want to do something like this when I am older. And then we use that information to do something. But we can learn spiritual principles too and start doing something spiritual – and find out what is not just a job we can do and enjoy – but God’s will for our life – that life is the best life of all.

It is not our job as spiritual leaders to tell people what God’s will for their life is. It is not our job to tell people what job to take, what career path to follow, who to marry, where to live. It is our job to raise their thinking so they are seeking the Lord and His kingdom first so that they answer these questions according to the Spirit, not the flesh. People can find a success in the world using their fleshly strength, but it will always fade. We need more than success in life, we need significance, and that only comes when we are plugging into the Lord.

We need to teach people:

  • To seek the Lord’s will first. Do not marry the first pretty girl (or guy) that comes along, but use Biblical principles. Is this person a believer, are they plugged into local church, do they tithe? Help people see the principles that must be asked before making big decisions. People will move house to towns with no good church for a payrise, because money is their God not Jesus! Help people put Jesus first!
  • To learn to hear God, firstly in His Word, then by the Spirit of God. We need to train people to not move outside of God’s peace.
  • To reject carnal expectations. What God has called someone to do, might not be what daddy wants them to do, it might not be the image that has been pushed on them all their life.
  • Help people dream big. God’s plan for our lives is big, it’s exclusive, it’s unique, it’s grand, it’s impressive. When people start thinking thoughts like that, they are much more likely to encounter God’s dream for their life.
  • Help people hold earthly things lightly. In Heaven, there is no reward for the most Facebook likes, the biggest car, or any of the things we use to imagine we are successful in the world. What makes us a success is learning to live above those measurements and measure ourselves by God’s kingdom.
  • Teach people be themselves. I don’t mean act on every impulse you have, no matter how attention seeking, petty or foolish. I mean you find out who you really are, what you are designed to do, and walk in victory. There is unique brilliance inside all of us. There is something inside you that makes you special, weighty, mature, a life-changer. Find out what that is, and get involved with it.
  • Teach people that wherever they are on their journey, they are never too big to serve. Do this by example and by precept.
  • Finally help people see that life is not all about themselves, it is about helping and serving others, it is about walking in victory so that you can share the rewards of that victory with others. Help people get their vision beyond the end of their own nose and they will learn so much wisdom.

Create a Better Future for Others 04: Teach People to Dream

You're Teaching me to Dream Again | His Name, His Renown

We are in the middle of a series on how to make a better future for others. In the first post, I outlined six things that every leader needs to get involved in to help others have a better future. In the second post, I said we need to first take care of ourselves, and in the last post, I talked about unleashing the dreams inside others.

Today, I want to show you how to teach others to dream. This is essential for building a better future for people – you have not just to urge them to dream, but teach them how to dream. People in our world do not know how to dream, they do not know how to use their imagination. Many Christians are still nervous to use their imaginations.

Whenever we counsel people, teach people, pastor people we must help them use their imagination better. Dealing with a poor person, teach them how to dream of having stuff. Dealing with a sick person, teach them to dream of being healed. (Want a bigger church? Dream!)

How Can We Teach People to Dream?

This is what we need to teach people so they can dream big and walk in their dreams:

  • Do Not Stop Dreaming until You are Filled with Joy. If your dreams do not fill you with joy, you are not dreaming enough. If you are not more excited by your dreams than you are depressed by your circumstances, you are spending too much time thinking about your circumstances and far far too little time dreaming. Do not be afraid to tell people to dream more.
  • Replay your dreams daily. This has to become something you do daily to make it work. You eat daily, you sleep daily, you should be praying and reading your Bible daily. For dreaming to work it must be daily – your circumstances assault your mind daily, you need to force your mind to see new, positive images daily.
  • Every Sense Should be Used in Your Dreaming. What can you see? What can you hear? What does your new car smell like? What does being able to move freely look like? Be aggressive in making your dreams as vivid as possible.
  • Act like the dream will come to pass. You must start adding some works to your faith. Act like your dream is so, rejoice like it is so, give like it is so, love like it is so.
  • Make Your Dreams as Specific as Possible. Dreaming of preaching to hundreds and thousands of people? Where in the world? What venue? Dream as specific as possible. Dreaming of a new car? What kind of car? Teach people to dream specific dreams.

Train your people to dream. That is essential to help your people have a glorious future.

Create a Better Future for Others 03: Unleash the Dreams that Others Have

Revisiting Disney: Sleeping Beauty

We are talking about creating a better future for others. It’s so important as leaders that we lead people to a better future. In our last post we talked about self-development. It’s so important you work on yourself! Now, let’s learn how to work on others!

Everyone you meet has a dream. Deep inside them, they are creative and confident, they want to make the world a better place, they want to help people. They want to have healthy friendships, they want to be heroes, they want to produce. It is your job as a leader to unleash those dreams. To connect people to hope, to encourage them to verbalize what is inside their heart, to bring them refreshments in the middle of storms, to challenge them to keep going when they are walking through the valley of death. You need to help people realize they are unlimited in their potential, full of life, one spririt with Christ and that they can win every battle.

You are the Prince Charming that has to kiss the Sleeping Beauty of their dreams and wake them up! You have four tasks to help do this:

Keep Working on Yourself. In our last post, I said that, and here is the joy of it – as you start to work on yourself and bear fruit, people will like you, respect you and eventually want to be like you. That makes it easier to influence them, easier to encourage them in their dreams. You are walking in your dreams, that makes people confident that you can help them walk in their dreams. When people watch you beat Goliath, then they are confident you can train them! It’s so important you keep sweet with the Lord, constantly learning and developing.

Identify the Identity Leaks. All people have identity leaks. They hear that they are righteous, they hear that they are blessed, and they start to get it, but they have identity leaks. An old “friend” who always puts them down, a situation that makes them revert back to their old mind, a trigger for their past and weakness. Help give them Scriptures to meditate on, help them use their imagination to see who they really are, to start to dream bigger, and to plug those leaks.

Speak Words of Life over them and get them to speak them over themselves. Every good leader must bless their people. One of the differences between a teacher and a father is that a teacher teaches the lesson to the student, but the father speaking blessings over the son. The father wants the son to pass! You should want the people in your church to succeed. Speak life over them, and train them to speak life over themselves. Train them to make declaration of life, of being blessed, of walking in victory.

Stretch People by moving them from their comfort zones. People need to be able to see beyond their horizon. They need to know they are not turkeys, they are eagles, but that is not enough – you also have to push them to fly. Sometimes you have to throw people out of the nest into the sky. Sometimes you have to push them off a cliff and go “fly” – you have to stretch people to soar. You have to demand to the best of your ability, and as sweetly as you can, push people to dream larger than what they see right now.

That stretching hurts people – they have to give up the views that they grew up with all their life and that will cause strife with their tribe, as they give up the grounded, limited views and develop life-giving views that give power and life! People can lose friends, can fail, can fall apart, but you keep stretching them, keep speaking over them, keep plugging the identity leaks and above all keep working on yourself.

Create a Better Future for Others 02: First Develop Yourself

Emergency Oxygen Masks – What you need to know | Travel Truths

The only way you can help others develop is to develop yourself. I have given my life to developing others and helping others walk in their dreams – inspiring people to dream and challenging them to live in their dreams. Therefore, it is vital that I develop myself. If you want to influence your family, your community, your church, your business, your school, your college for the better then you must develop yourself. You cannot distribute what you have never collected.

It’s like whenever you listen to the safety demonstration before an airline flight. They always tell you to make sure your oxygen mask is firmly attached before trying to help anyone else. It is exactly the same in life and ministry – you cannot help someone else connect to God, to their dreams, to their ministry, to their future if your connection is not secure! If you want to help others, work on yourself. I always daily, weekly, monthly and yearly have events in my calendar that feed me, stretch me, develop me, inspire me and challenge me. I often go to conferences just to sit and learn. I daily listen to others teach. If I want to help you live the life of your dreams, the number 1 key is to live the life of mine! I have told my church before that the most important thing they can do is feed me good information and inspire me, and the most important use of church money is to make sure I am developing. The higher I soar, the more we can all soar.

Many leaders, in their deep compassion to help people, to love people, to inspire people, invest 100% of their life into people, and they find out that their own oxygen mask is not attached well! Then they start to suffocate, become legalistic, get insecure, and that then is reflected in their leading and teaching! That’s not a pleasant place to be!

Everyone of you who knows you are called to help others, to minister to others, to invest your life in others, to bring others to the middle of their field of dreams – you must FIRST DEVELOP YOURSELF! Now how can you do that, and what are the signs that you are not doing that.

There are three signs that you are not taking care of yourself and your stretching and expanding. They are all very obvious.

  1. You Get Frustrated At Regular Tasks
    1. Every job, whether CEO or janitor, whether pastor or PA to the pastor, involves tasks that need to be done regularly. Things must be cleaned, books must be balanced, calls must be made, bills must be paid. Now I am not saying they will be the most favourite part of your day or week or month, I am not saying you will never find those tasks boring or monotonous. But if you start getting frustrated, if you start thinking you cannot handle those tasks, your life is unbalanced and you need to start taking some time for you.
  2. You Cannot Create Creative Solutions
    1. There is always more than one way to skin a cat. When your mask is not on properly, the shortage of oxygen means you cannot think of other solutions. You cannot welcome solutions from others, you cannot dream beyond the end of your nose.
    2. You get all the work done that is right in front of you – you write this week’s sermon, you write this week’s rota, you buy this week’s materials. But you never dream long-term, you never think – right, what series of sermons over the next year will help people soar, can we do the rota system in a better way, can I give the whole rota to someone else, can I automate this buying process, can I get the same stuff cheaper elsewhere?
  3. You Get Jealous of the Success of Others
    1. One strange thing that happens when you are not connected to the vine, when you do not focus on yourself is that you stagnate, but you also get annoyed with people that are soaring! You just get upset they are opening a new church, they are getting promoted, they are moving forward! That jealousy, a nasty strife-filled, confusing jealousy, is a sure-fire sign you need to start investigating yourself and investing in yourself.
    2. The second you cannot rejoice with those who rejoice – invest more in yourself. Grow on the inside and the outside will grow! It’s that simple. Take your eyes off other people and do whatever it takes to get your mask on and connect yourself to the source!

Developing Yourself

So, how can you develop yourself? What can you do?

  1. Daily Development. Do you pray in tongues daily? Do you read your Bible daily? Do you listen to or read someone else daily? These three are in my mind non-negotiable development tools for daily use. If you are too busy to pray and read the Word you are too busy to be a pastor, quit the ministry today!
  2. Weekly Development. Are you learning something new at least once a week? You should be. To me weekly is the rate of learning that works. Maybe do a weekly course, join a weekly Bible study, take a weekly night course. But every week you need at least 1 hour, preferably 2 or 3, where you are just learning new things. That’s so important!
  3. Monthly Development. We need to do somethings monthly that challenge us. Learning new information is important, but it also important we learn new skills too. Monthly is a good time to do something that you have never done before.
  4. Annual Development. You must go to a conference. You must go away from your home town, go away from your people and go away from your life and start to get involved with developing yourself. You need to be staying away from home and get involved in everything God has for you. When Paul held the first ever pastor’s conference, he held it for the pastors at Ephesus but he held the conference in Miletus, over sixty miles away (which in those days is a three day journey). Why? To get you away. You need annually at least once to go to Jerusalem and get away. In fact, every Jew in the Old Testament had to save 10% of their income (this is separate from tithing) so they could go away and develop themselves. It’s that important!

What is your daily development? What is your weekly development? What conference are you getting involved in this year? Let me know! What are you doing to put you first!

Create a Better Future for Others 01: Leading others into Victory

Image result for leading others to victory

If you want to be a leader, you have to learn how to bring the best out of others, to inspire them to win, to lead them to their victory. Especially as a pastor, you are surrounded by people with broken dreams, with lost hopes and with wounded souls. I want to give every leader six keys to lead others into their best future. The keys are:

First Develop Yourself

Unleash the Dreams that Others Have

Teach People How to Dream

Unveil God’s Will to People

Rebuild Broken Dreams

Equip People to Be A Success

If you do these things, you will win. In the week I will start taking a closer look about how we can do these six things and give others a future.

Ways to Show Honour 06 Ways to Show Dishonour

Dishonour memes. Best Collection of funny dishonour pictures on iFunny

If you want to dishonour someone here is how:

  • Don’t be there. I drove a six hour round trip before the lockdown to celebrate thirty years of ministry of one of my fathers in the faith. To not be there would be a mark of dishonour. If you want to dishonour Gates of the City next month, just do not turn up. Your attendance is a sign of your respect. If you only turn up at the sessions of the speakers you know, you respect those speakers more than the pastor who crafted the conference! Someone said to me after the Limitless conference last year, “Don’t worry, I listened to all the important speakers”, wow – that is a great level of dishonour. Absence is the easiest and most efficient way to show dishonour! The more important the function, the more dishonour is achieved by you failing to turn up
  • Another easy way to show dishonour is to completely ignore someone’s advice. I have given out great advice to people who then ignored it and got into trouble. I have told peopel – don’t get into more debt, don’t have a fight over this issue. I have told pastors how to start a church, how to solve a problem, and was totally disregarded. My experience and wisdom in that area was just ignored. Some people disregard all advice from anyone in a church, that means that they do not honour the whole church!
  • If you want to dishonour a church that is feeding you and loves you, just walk right out of the door. If the church is not giving you your inheritance right now, not letting you preach, not letting you have your own way, not letting you do everything you are called to do, not giving you free reign to prophecy over everyone, just wander off. Now the problem with this is although it is really easy, you will end up eating pig food, and eventually you will come to yourself, realize you have sinned against heaven and against the church and have to make a long walk home. But for immediate gain this is a great approach! I know plenty of pastors who are simply never going to make it in ministry because they have abandoned the spiritual house God raised them in. They dishonoured the house that trained them and raised them up! Prodigals don’t prosper!
  • Another really easy way to show dishonour is to lie through your teeth to someone. I mean say something with your mouth that just is not in your heart. Tell your pastor you will be there forever while you are planning to plant a church and take a third of his people with you. Not only does it dishonour the person through the lies, but this is a double dishonour because it assumes the pastor is so stupid they cannot see right through you. You assume they are a moron, and they are not! God never took it lightly when people honoured him with their lips and their heart is far from them. It always amazes me how many people lie to their pastors – they will tell me all the thing they think I want to hear, but as soon as the distance between us is enough for me not to hear they do not talk about God and church and ministry and world mission. Honour always involves being bold enough to be genuine and without pretence with people. Don’t insult someone by flattering them or idolizing them, unless you really want to dishonour them.

If you decide you do not want to show dishonour, and rather would want to show honour, why not click here and read about the ALARM of honour.

My next post will be about the dishonour of the dishonourable. It will really help you realize why we are talking about honour or dishonour.

Ways to Show Honour 05 Money

Do your small offerings matter?

This final way of showing honour will change your life forever. You show someone else honour by honouring them with your substance.

Proverbs 3.9 says “honour the Lord with your substance”. Now, you need to read post 1 and find out that you cannot do this if you do not honour with your attitude. But an honour that is attitude only is never full honour. An honour that does not become tangible is not full honour.

We will never outgrow the need to honour other people who are impacting our lives with substance. The Pharisees taught that you could if it inconvenienced you, but Jesus said no – that’s a tradition that kills the power of God’s Word. We still have people today teaching and preaching against honour and against tithing to the local church.

Our church family used to host a Bible College belonging to another ministry. We were always very careful to honour that other ministry, and the people who came to that college who were not from our church, we honoured them. One day I was in the college to pick someone up and there was a lady from our church came up to me to give me a testimony. On the Sunday I had a prophetic word for her about her finding a new job and getting a pay rise. this was only Tuesday evening and already every part of the word had come true and she was now earning a lot more than she ever had in her life. I praised God with her and another student came over, and pointed at me “Do not give this man or his ministry a penny from your increase. He is only a lowly pastor, give all the tithe to this Bible College, it is the true teacher in your life”. Well, there is so much wrong in that it would take a week to point out every deviation from Scripture, but the root of it was a lack of honour. If honour cannot turn into honouring with substance it is not real honour! Sadly, that lady listened to the voice leading her to show no honour. She gave a grand total of 3 pence (yes, I was accurate there) to the church that year. That is a failure to honour! Now that lady is not even going to church. That’s a tragedy.

It’s not even the substance that matters, your gift is something that matters to you. The substance is to you. Ministers with large ministries, with great book sales and CD sales, they probably do not need your gift. You are giving it because you honour them, the honour is the key!

God does not need your money! He is not hungry, he is not in need. But He receives our offerings anyway to enable us to honour Him! I don’t need any more food, in fact, I need less food, but when someone wants to bring me food, I receive it to let that person show honour. I have three sons in their late teens or early twenties, food does not go to waste in my house. You do not give to God because God is starving, God does not eat food! God does not spend twenty pound notes! Have you ever thought of that? God needs nothing we give to Him, He absolutely does not need your tithe. And I don’t either, I know how to abound and I know how to abase. You need to tithe to Tree of Life, Tree of Life does not need your tithe.

When you honour someone with your substance, make sure it is from the top not the bottom. In Malachi, people were bringing animals to sacrifice to the Lord that were blind, lame and sick. They were giving from the bottom, not the top. If you want to know what giving from the bottom looks like, tell your church you need new toys for the children’s ministry. Your church will become a giant skip for all the broken, useless, grubby, mangy toys that no one would ever give their own children. Malachi’s warning to bring from the top is still important to us today:

And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person, saith the Lord of Hosts (Malachi 1.6-8. KJV)

Think about your offering – if it was how you acted and showed honour at work, would your boss appreciate it or not. It amazes me how people who can turn up for work on time five days a week stroll into church fifteen or twenty (or 30 or 40) minutes into the service all the time! They do not honour the church service or God! They just honour their boss and the money he gives them! Don’t give the church some broken piece of crockery, out of date chocolate no one can eat is not a suitable gift for your elders or pastors! If you don’t want an animal in your flock, why would you then give it as a gift? A lack of honour!

One of the greatest examples of honour in the whole Bible, if not the single greatest act of honour by a human, is when the woman with the alabaster box of ointment breaks it and pours it on Jesus (you can read it in Mark 14). That was worth a year’s wages according to the NIV Bible. The average London wage today is £37000. That perfume was worth tens of thousands of pounds and this lady showered all of it on Jesus!

Don’t wait until someone dies before having a no expense spared attitude to them. Give extravagantly today to honour the people who have influenced you and mentored you.

One thing we do at Tree of Life is we always give a generous honorarium to the ministers who come to the Tree to feed our people. The honorarium you give is a sign of honour! I have been in churches where I was given a can of coke for ministering. I had a precious evangelist come to us for a meeting and we raised an offering of several thousand, which I know will be used for crusades in much poorer nations. He mentioned he had just been in a much larger church than ours for a whole conference speaking every day more than once a day and they gave him £80. That did not even cover his expenses. That is not honour. That kind of action destablises a church.

Sadly, that much larger church has fallen apart, and Tree of Life is still giving. Again, it’s not about money, it is about honour. There are some speakers who normally have a minimum fee for speaking that right now Tree of Life Church could not afford, but they still come and waive that fee because we honour them. But for a church our size we punch far above our weight because we want to honour those ministers because we know what they bring to us and how they help all our people – especially our leaders. It’s like a whole Bible College for our leaders when we have guest speakers. It’s awesome!

The expenses, the rewards, the honorarium – all of that is an indication of the honour shown to you by that ministry. When there is no substantial gift there is no honour. I know one speaker who preached two nights in a church who told him “you are a man of faith, believe God to look after you”. That minister will be fine, but that church will not survive.

You need to think about the people who bless you and honour them with your substance. If you think that is wrong, you need to read your Bible. If you think it is inappropriate, that is because your thinking is based on ignorance.

In the next post, I will look at several signs of dishonour. Thanks for finding out about the five ways to show honour.

Ways to Show Honour 04 Recognize

recognize — Noticed

One of the key ways to honour someone is to be aware of them and pay attention to them! Conversely, one of the ways you can recognize or show dishonour is to disregard or ignore someone, to neglect them. If a pastor from another church takes the time to travel and visit one of our conferences or meetings, it is honorable for us to mention them and mention that they came.

Jesus was dishonoured in his own country. That is a really powerful principle we do not understand that much. He was ignored in His own country, they thought they knew about Him and they didn’t, I experience that, often people in the UK think they know how pitiful UK ministers are. No, they are judging me by their standards. If they realized the anointing on my life we would have some amazing miracles in their meetings. If you do not recognize someone, you do not notice them then you do not honour them. If you think they are just a carpenter and do not realize they are a pastor, you will miss out.

To dishonour someone is to fail to recognize what they have done in their lives, to fail to realize what they are carrying, to fail to appreciate who they are and what they are called to do. It is hard to have to self-promote why people should listen to you! It’s hard to deal with the dishonour of failing to recognize!

When dad comes home from work and mum and all the children do not even stop looking at their phones, that is a lack of honour! When couples walk around the house ignoring each other, there is a lack of honour! When the boss, the pastor, someone in a position of honour, is ignored there is no honour.

We have to learn how to recognize people. Say “hey I am glad you are here!”. Now we are online we often have other pastors join our services, especially those from other time zones. If I notice they are online, I always recognize them and publicly recognize them, which is a form of honour. They have honoured me by choosing to invest their precious time and have not just themselves but their entire ministry influenced by what I am teaching, so I should honour them!

Another way to recognize people, which can come across as a bit patronizing if you do not think it through, is to reward them in some way. Public praise, buying someone a gift, making the room applaud someone. Those are all ways of recognizing people and therefore honouring them!

If you want to honour a minister and you are a minister, the easiest way to do that is invite them to speak. When you are asked to speak at another church or ministry, that is a clear sign of honour.

Listen – if you go somewhere as a minister and you are never mentioned you are not recognized, when public acknowledgement of your presence is not made, you are not recognized. I know one ministry where they will only recognize I am there if certain other people are in the room to impress them, they will not do it just because I am there. They do not honour me. That’s fine, that’s their choice, but it is useful to know that in planning how I spend my time and where I give my money!

Honour is done through recognition. Selah.

This should help you both honour others and realize where you are not being honoured. If you are not honoured somewhere, you will have the same day Jesus did in Nazareth – unable to do any mighty work!