What I Would Do If I Was an Assistant Pastor

I have been a youth pastor, an associate pastor and an assistant pastor, I have been a youth leader, Sunday School Director, usher, Sunday School teacher – I have done every volunteer and paid position in the church.

Now I am the head of a network of five churches and have some great lead pastors and some great pastors – and as our churches grow we will appoint a lot more pastors – assistant pastors, youth pastors, worship pastors, campus pastors, children’s pastors, and so on.

I was just thinking about this today – what would make a great assistant pastor?  What would I do if I was assistant pastor?

  • I would quote my lead pastor all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I know Jesus is the head of the  church and I know it is all about Jesus.  But it isn’t Jesus who signs my paychecks, it is the lead pastor.  And I would respect and admire him, listen to him and quote him.  It would bring unity and peace to the network, make my lead pastor’s job easier and ensure it was clear the organization had one head.
  • I would announce the visit of the pastor with excitement.  I would be someone everyone knew was happy to have the pastor with us and around
  • I would tell people how much the messages have blessed me personally
  • I would not let anyone come to me with their complaints or negative comments.  I might even have a sign outside my office: IF YOU HAVE COME HERE TO GRUMBLE, YOU MUST BE LOST.  I am not about to become another Absalom in the making!
  • I wouldn’t ever get stroppy if someone expected him instead of me.  Imagine I got to the hospital and they said “Why hasn’t the lead pastor come here, why has he sent the deputy”, I would lovingly explain he is really busy and really couldn’t make it.  You would never catch me saying “well, he’s always late”, “I don’t know do I”, “He’s probably sleeping”.
  • I would honour my pastor’s wife and buy her gifts.
  • I would appreciate all the learning I am getting.
  • I would listen to the lead pastor preach online or on CD all the chances I got
  • I would flow with the policies the church set
  • I would take notes during the sermon and during the business meeting
  • I would give wise counsel, without flattery or without manipulation.
  • I wouldn’t covet the top chair.  Or his car, or donkey, or whatever!

The Pain of Betrayal!

It’s the start of a very busy weekend here, and I have a lot to do, but I feel the pressing of the Lord so strong to write this blog post right now.  If you are going through the pain of betrayal, don’t quit – keep going!

They asked Derek Prince at the end of his life if he wished he had done anything different, and he said that he wished he had been more forgiving to the people who caused him pain through betrayal.  That is thought provoking – betrayal hurts, no matter who you are.  And if you are a pastor, at some point you will be betrayed.

David was betrayed, and wrote a Psalm about it:

My heart is sore pained within me (Psalm 55.4)

David was betrayed by a man called Ahithophel, the man was supposed to be a good friend, and his trusted advisor.  But he turned against David and David’s rulership and it hurt.  Let’s start here leaders – it hurts when people betray you.  It really hurts, it’s a pain that nothing else comes close to.  In Psalm 55, David pours out his heart and lets us know the pain.  The sad thing is I have seen pastors and leaders who have never, ever recovered from the pain of betrayal.  I do not want this to be your story!

When you preach and teach on the importance of loyalty, some (young) ministers will tell me don’t teach on that, it’s not important, just teach grace and peace.  Then they get betrayed, and they call me and ask where can I get that teaching.  What happened?  Their Ahithophel betrayed them!

Give ear to my prayer O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend to me and hear me, I mourn in complaint, and make a noise. (Psalm 55.1-2)

That is what it feels like when you are betrayed, you pray but you doubt God hears, you feel like God has forgotten you, you feel suddenly very sobered up.

Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked, for they cast iniquity upon me and in anger they hate me.  My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. (Psalm 55.3-4)

One of the worst and most painful parts of being betrayed is that when people betray you, they invariably bring false accusations against you. When you hear what people who have betrayed you say about you, you might wonder if you are satan himself!

These accusations get under your skin and they hurt.  They re-describe events and paint you evil; they fabricate half-truths to make you look terrible.  And just days, weeks or months ago, these people were your friends, your associates – you loved them, you trusted them.

It’s part of the pain of betrayal – they “cast iniquity upon you” – they say you sinned and you did this wrong and you did that wrong and you were wicked.  It helps them feel less guilty about betraying you, to paint you as a demon.

Fear and trembling have come upon me (Psalm 55.5)

The shock of betrayal can make you very scared.  You can be scared of failing, scared others will betray you, scared people will believe the inquities being cast on you.

You start to think, well if someone thinks I am a thief, if someone thinks I am arrogant and wicked, how can I ever have a successful ministry now?

It is a real fear.  This fear gripped David when Ahithophel turned on him – he thought his reign was over, he thought his successes were nothing, he thought that he could never move forward, he thought more people would backstab him.

Now LISTEN CAREFULLY – this fear will kill your ministry, not the betrayal.  The first thing that happens is fear, but the second step is also universal:

And I said, oh that I had wings like a dove for then would I fly away and be at rest.  Lo, would I wander off and stay in the desert.  Selah. I would escape from the windy storm and tempest. (Psalm 55.6-8)

Accompanying the fear that comes with betrayal, is a desire to run away.  If you run away from everyone, then no-one can betray you ever again.  When those false accusations come, you want to run away.  I’ve been caleed names before and I just wanted to run away.  Some pastors do – they start a travelling ministry or they move churches all the time, trying to run away from it.  Others run away on the inside, they are still there but not all there, refusing to give their life to others, refusing to help others, hating getting up and preaching.  It’s not easy being betrayed.

The third feeling when betrayed is the desire to get revenge:

Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them. (Psalm 55.15)

That’s how you feel about people who betray you.  Let them die and go to hell.  If in pain you have ever prayed that prayer, you are in good company.

But you need to know this: satan sends the disloyal to you to do one thing – he doesn’t care about them or their lies.  He cares about your heart.  His plan is to trick and con you into bitterness and unforgiveness.  That is why I am talking to you today about this!  Failing to love is going to destroy your ministry – not betrayal, not slander, not gossip.  Their behaviour isn’t going to kill you – yours is.  That’s the cunning plan of the devil – to make you polluted with vengeance and wicked imaginations.


If you have the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, if you are the smoothest preacher in the world, if you have faith that moves mountains – but have not love – then you have nothing, gain nothing and will achieve nothing.  (That’s a paraphrase of 1 Cor. 13.1-3).

Why would you want the accuser to poison me and fill your heart with negativity?  Why would you let them decide how much you show love?

David was honest with his thoughts in v. 15, thank God he was – as you and I have felt the same thing.  But he didn’t keep in that place.  And this is my heart for you this morning: don’t stay in verse 15.  Admit you have been there, that’s fine.  End up hurt and in pain and annoyed and frustrated – of course – someone you trusted, someone you treated as an equal, someone you went to church with and prayed with, discussing issues with (see vv. 13-14) has stabbed you in the back.

Admit it hurts, admit you want to stab them back.  Admit you feel hell is too good for them – we’ve all been there.  But don’t – whatever you do – stay in verse 15.  Let’s move onto verse 16 today:

As for me, I will call upon the Lord and the Lord will save me (Psalm 55.16)

God is on your side.  You are not the tail, you are the head.  Start to call upon the Lord today, He will save you from bitterness, from pain, from the negative voices, from it all.

The pain of betrayal can and will become something in the past.  God will bring new advisers to you, learn to trust them, not reject them on the behaviour of others.  This is your time!

The Power of a Landmark (part 2 – Landmark Seasons)

Last week, we discussed landmark people and that some people who have been in your life and lifted it should never be forgotten.

Another thing that must not be forgotten is landmark seasons in your life.  All throughout Scripture, God has insisted His people remember certain events:

Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me   – Exodus 23.14

God ordained that every year the Jewish nation had to remember their exodus from Egypt, had to remember the giving of the Law and had to remember the time they spent in the wilderness.

There are events and moments and seasons in your life you should always remember and you should put on the calendar and schedule time to remember.  The times in which God delivers you supernaturally you should always remember.  I will never forget Saturday December 5th 1993, that was the night I started to speak in tongues and prophesied over people for the first time.   Before that I was a Baptist boy who wanted to believe in the gifts and power of the Spirit, but dare not in case I ended up cursing God in Chinese (that was actually said!).

Now I use the gifts daily, I pray in tongues every day, prophecy has saved my life on a number of occasions and I have lost track of how many people I have seen healed.  That evening changed my life and I will not fail to celebrate it.

You need to think back on your life.  God has delivered you, God has increased you, God has helped you.  Remember these things – put them in front your mind, set aside a time on the calendar and remember them.  Spend time thanking God for your landmark events.

Next week, we will conclude this by looking at landmark places.



Do Nothing…!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2.3-4 (NIV)

Today, I want you to learn a new word.  In the Greek it is eritheia, in the KJV it is translated strife, but here in the NIV it is translated “selfish ambition”.

It is a difficult word to translate from Greek into English.  It might be best translated “electioneering”.  You know when a politician acts in a certain way not because it is from the heart, not because it is conviction, but because it is what they think will please the crowd and they think that being a crowd-pleaser will get them promotion.

It’s more than that though, it’s also about deliberately causing fights to get the upper hand, playing people against each other, and playing games to get promoted.  It includes subtly putting other people down to make yourself look better.  Basically any behaviour you would get from a politician!

The New Covenant is absolutely and totally explicit: do nothing out of eritheia.  So many people are striving and fighting and playing games to be in control of things that they were never supposed to be in control of.  It is a symptom of a lack of trust in God.  In the New Testament days, people were even preaching out of eritheia (Php. 1.16), and both Paul and James warn strongly against it.  It is one of the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5.

So make no mistake – it is something that is still going on today.  There are still people in churches:

  • Preaching in such a way that they are trying to please the crowd and put other preachers down.
  • Playing church politics by acting in certain ways to try and gain a position in the church or in the hearts of people in the church
  • Not looking to the Lord for their position, not being content with their sphere of authority but fighting to maintain a position God never gave them.  In Psalm 131, the Psalmist says “I do not concern myself with great matters”.  In other words, we do not worry about things that are outside our authority.  Otherwise, we will get into the flesh and that’s not good.
  • Deliberately trying to split up a church to get their pet (and probably petty) doctrine or practice to the front of the church.
  • Playing party politics.  I will come to church if X preaches but not Y.  I will come if I get to do this.  I will tithe if I get to lead worship.  I will come to small group if I can share, if not I won’t.

In short, people are playing games to get power.  If you have to play games to get it, if you have to flatter people, intimidate people, put down other people, to get power – then that power is not from God and is not healthy.

James is just as explicit as Paul: For where envying and eritheia is, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3.16).  Eritheia brings confusion.  If you are confused right now, I guarantee there is selfish ambition somewhere.  If you are confused as to your destiny, selfish ambition is in there somewhere.  There is still a sense that you need to play politics and hold on to certain things to “help” God get you into your destiny.

I had a difficult decision to make this week, and I was confused, both options looked healthy.  But then I realized one option was only healthy because it helped me politically.  It would put me in a better position.  The other option was the choice that would help people, extend the kingdom of God and glorify Christ.  I repented of my selfish ambition and repented of my lack of faith that promotion comes from the Lord.  Then all confusion left and I knew what I had to do, and all I needed to do was ask for some timing and some small details.

Confusion is rooted in eritheia, so is every evil work.  If you translate every evil work from the original Greek it comes out as: every evil work.  All evil is called by our political games.  All church splits are caused by selfish ambition.  All people who fail to enter their destiny – it is caused by eritheia.  All people who backbite and pull others down – it is all caused by eritheia.

Let’s build church the way Paul built church – by louding declaring and believing and acting and believing: WE WILL DO NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION.  WE ARE NOT POLITICIANS, WE ARE SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.

The Power of a Landmark (Part 1 – What Are You On About?)


Remove not the ancient landmark, which Thy fathers have set – Proverbs 22.28

In your life you will have landmarks.  You will have already encountered some, and will no doubt encounter more.  All leaders, to be good leaders, need to recognize and highlight landmarks in their journey and in the journey of others.

One of the greatest landmarks in your life is people who have been put in place by God to lift you to another place and get you further in your dreams than every before.

In the first of the book of Daniel we find out that “the Lord gave Jehoiakim, King of Judah, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar”.  The newspapers would have said “Nebuchadnezzar beat Judah in a big battle”, but that’s not what the Scripture said.  God put Jehoiakim in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

God put Nebuchadnezzar in charge of the nation, and demoted Jehoiakim. God is still God!  He will bring certain people into your life whether you want Him to do it or not!  Whether you receive from them or not is up to you, but God will bring the right people into your life.  Your job is to recognize the landmark people and welcome them and receive from them.

This is vital!  Sometimes God brings a message to us in a person who we would not welcome in the flesh – they may not be the age, or gender, or race we want them to be – but we still have to learn from them.  This is what the Bible consistently teaches.  You can actually see several times in the Scripture where people didn’t just fail to welcome their landmark people that God was bringing into their life – but they actively fought against them.

He sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.  And the husbandmen took his servants and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.  Again he sent other servants more than the first, and they did unto them likewise (Matthew. 21.34-36)

This is a warning from Jesus to you – don’t reject and don’t fight the landmark people God puts in your path.  Rather honour them with all of your heart, see their entrance into your life as a supernatural event with the backing and planning of God.  Then – you benefit from them and end up having a divine appointment, not a carnal disappointment.  And as a leader, you need to teach people to recognize and honour their landmark people.

So who are these landmark people?   You have several right now, whether you recognize them or not.  Here are seven:

  1. The person who led you to the Lord.  Never fail to give that person a special, special place in your life.  Your greatest treasure is your reborn spirit, and never forget the person you helped you encounter the grace and resurrection power of Jesus.  I was led to the Lord by a Glaswegian preacher named Kenny McKey, and I am blessed to have heard that message that evening.
  2. The first person who opened the Bible to you.  I will never forget the legacy of George Donald who first showed me the Bible was not a dusty old textbook but a living book written by a living God.
  3. The person who inspired you to enter ministry.  If there was no Eli, we would have no Samuel, no King David, no King Solomon, no Psalms, no Proverbs, no future for Israel.  Honour your Eli’s!  The truth is many, many people will discourage you from entering ministry.  They will tell you it is hard (it is), it tends to poverty (it can, especially if you are starting off or pioneering), that you won’t ever achieve anything (that’s just a lie).  They will infect you with their fear and keep you out of ministry.  The people who stand by you, encouraged and inspired you to be a minister are worthy of great admiration and honour.  I was eating pizza with my pastor in Dundee, Scotland, planning to spend the rest of my life with (boring!) computers.  He said to me you are called to ministry and encouraged me to go to Bible College.  His name was Graham McClellan and I honour him!
  4. The person who is your biggest example.  Sometimes I joke I will buy a WWRMD bracelet, because Robert Maasbach has been just a great example to me and a great living, breathing picture of being an awesome pastor.  If you are a pastor, then there are vital skills in the ministry – pastoring, loving, witnessing, preaching, follow up, people skills, wisdom for all areas.  The people who are examples in these area should be honoured.  They are truly landmarks in your life.
  5. The person who opened that door for you.  Barnabas took Paul and brought him to the apostles and told the apostles about how he saw the Lord in Paul’s life and ministry (it’s in Acts 9).  That’s a big door opener.  Don’t ever forget people like that.  They have changed your life.  Who laid hands on you and ordained you a pastor?  Who opened their pulpit to you?  You could not have done that yourself, and you need to honour these people, they are landmark people.   I have had a few people open a few doors for me, and I am expecting some big doors to open soon.  But always honour the door openers!
  6. Your spiritual father.  Who is that?  The person who had faith in you and believed in your ministry.  When I was running one church of 20-something people (30 was a crowd), Dave Duell believed in me. He loved me just the way I was, but he put wisdom and impartation into my life many times over.  He came to us again and again, not for gain, not for personal fame, not for anything other than he believed in me.  How can you tell a father in the faith?  They don’t leave behind institutes, they leave behind sons.  We are now five churches, with plans to open at least another five (if not seven) next year.  That is sonship.  That is what happens when someone believes in you.  That is someone you must honour.
  7. Your forerunner.  Unless you are totally dumb, you will not build alone, you will build on the shoulder’s of giants.  There are people who have gone before.  Preaching grace in England is hard enough – can you imagine doing it if there was no Andrew Wommack giving away free tapes and ploughing up the religious ground?  Solomon enjoyed the victories David won, and got to spend his time building not fighting.  I know I am leaving a legacy so others can build not fight, but I also know I am building some people because others fought first.  Moses outlived all the grumbling elders, quelling rebellion after rebellion, so Pastor Joshua could enter the promised land without them.  Moses, through decades of hard work taught the discontented, rebellious, childish, immature, foolish nation that they needed to believe God and believe their leader.  He was the forerunner to Joshua.  I am grateful to Andrew Wommack for being the forerunner for all of us teaching grace and ploughing hard ground so we can build

Who are your landmark people?  You need to honour them.  You could text them, phone them, write them a letter – you could also tell us on this post who some of them are and why they are important.

Next week: landmark events and how to honour them


There Are 50 Ways to Leave Your Church (part 2 Don’t Leave Offended)


In our first post in this series (which can be found here), I shared about good and bad reasons to leave a local church.  In that post, I quoted the pastor’s pastor, Bob Yandian, as saying most people leave churches offended.  From my own experience and discussions with many other church leaders that is most definitely a true statement.

Now, if you are leaving a church offended you won’t leave well.  If you are leaving a church offended you will leave for a petty reason – they didn’t play the song I liked, the pastor didn’t call me when I wanted him to, so and so didn’t say hello to me, I didn’t get promoted in the church, and so on and so forth.  And you will leave badly and hurt the church and hurt your walk with Christ. 

Next week, I will post a sort of leaving a church check list so you can leave a church in a way that honours God and honours the kingdom and reflects the character of Christ.  But you will not be interested in leaving right, indeed just reading that will annoy you, if you are offended.

Leviticus 19.18 says:

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord

Why does the Bible tell us not to take vengeance or hear a grudge?  Because it is actually fairly easy to get offended at church, at the pastor, at the elders, at our church family.

We get offended in three ways.  Firstly, we have unrealistic and ungodly expectations.  Secondly, because our pastors are human; and thirdly because our pastors do things wrong.

So firstly we get offended through unrealistic and ungodly expectations.  We have a mental image of what a pastor should be, painted in our minds by our past experiences, our culture, by preachers on the TV and many other things. 

Some people come to our church for example from a background where the pastor wears a suit every Sunday.  I don’t do that because I am reaching people to whom a suit would be a barrier to hearing me.  But their unrealistic and unbiblical expectation causes offense because I am not dressed the way they see a pastor dressing.  I have had people go out and buy me a suit because they felt sorry for me because I was a pastor without a suit.  I have a lot of suits, God is very generous to me and clothes me better than the lillies of the field, but where in the Bible is a suit mentioned for a pastor?  That’s tradition, not Bible.

We all have our traditions and our pet things and when they are challenged we can get offended.  That is a dumb reason to leave a church, especially when the challenging of those traditions helps us renew our minds and transforms our life.

When our unrealistic and unbiblical expectations are challenged we can get offended but we need to see that as a growth opportunity. 

We had a couple leave our church because I challenged an unrealistic and unbiblical tradition they had.  They said to me they knew God had spoken to them to be in our church, they knew God had called them to be with us (and we knew it too), but they couldn’t work out why God would bring them to a church where the pastor didn’t for their expectations.  They had written a list of reasons why God might have told them to come to us with about 8 or 9 reasons on, and not one of the reasons was “so I could change and grow and be transformed”.  We get offended when we hold so tightly to our traditions that the idea that God could work in a different way to our traditions is not even on the piece of paper!

We also get offended because pastors and other leaders are human.  I am not omnipresent and I am not all-knowing.  Sometimes God reveals a problem to me, but mainly you need to tell me.  When the church was growing in Acts 6, the soup kitchen it ran was only catering to Jewish widows and the Greek widows were going hungry.  Not one of the twelve apostles got a dream, a vision or impression.  No angel visited them.  The church had to tell them.  Sometimes I need to be in two places at once and someone gets offended I send a deputy!  They don’t realize pastors are human.  Sometimes I put my family above the church and people get upset… No, I am a father and husband first.  Be human, and don’t be afraid to be human, but don’t at offended because your church is led by a human. 

Jesus couldn’t do miracles when people were offended at his humanity, the fact he had a dad, and his dad had a job upset people and offended people to the point they couldn’t receive a miracle from him.  I had a mother once ban her daighter from coming to our church because I am white.  My humanity offended them to the point they missed out on miracles.  Sadly still most people go to churches where the pastor looks like them, and that will never being healthy Christianity to London.

Finally, let’s face it pastors do sin still.  I certainly do, if you don’t, let me know so I can join your prayer line!  Now there will be a point where a pastor’s integrity is damaged so badly, it would be dumb to keep getting fed by him.

There are pastors in my city who have been arrested for child abuse and yet are still in the pulpit, that’s crazy.  Yes there is grace but there is also wisdom!

On the other hand, don’t run off because a pastor is still working out his salvation with fear and trembling.  In fact, learn from their journey.  I shared last week in one of our churches one of my biggest struggles which is to believe God can actually change the United Kingdom through me.  I spend a lot of time re-reading and re-listening to a sermon series by Andrew Wommack called Don’t Limit God because that is certainly something I do.  It was not comfortable to share so honestly and starkly but afterwards so many people were encouraged and inspired and even challenged, I am very glad I did.

Don’t get offended, but if you do get offended, don’t leave the church offended.  You might still leave later for a better reason, but don’t leave offended – not for the churches’ sake, they will be surprisingly fine without you – but for your sake and for the sake of your spirituality.

Blast from the Past – Dealing With Backstabbers!


I originally posted this two years ago – it is from November 2013.  It is still just as relevant and helpful to all pastors and leaders as it was then.

If you are in a situation where you are being backstabbed, talk about it – maybe we can help.   That’s what the comment box is for.

Grace and peace,


A Dream!

I am not ashamed of the gospel.  I am not ashamed of the truth of the gospel.  I am not ashamed of what I do.

I’m not a success coach or life coach, though I value those people and I will bring success to your life. 

I am not a TV evangelist although I am on TV and believe we need many more people who understand grace and faith on TV, and I will be expanding our TV ministry.

I am not a hireling.  You won’t see me flutter off to the US because the money is better there or the moral standard for preachers is more lax there.  Though I love America with all my heart.

I am not a compromiser.  You won’t see me living on a different continent to my wife for decades claiming it is God’s will.  Nor will I take out a super injunction against my wife to hide a life of deceit.  My first wife is my last wife, for better or worse. 

I am not interested in the obsessions of the charismatic media.  I will not get a guest speaker just because they are cool or will drag a crowd.a long, but I only invite people to the Tree who I genuinely believe will inspire and challenge you.

I’m not interested in the latest Christian worship song, I am interested in the songs that build you up and encourage you. 

Our services are not rock concerts and they are not seeker friendly, that are Spirit led and crafted to set you free.

Tree of Life is not a concert, not a performance, not a show, not an attempt to be cool.  It is a church, an assembly of believers gathered in love for love.

I am not a motivational speaker, though I will motivate you.  I am not a star or celebrity, and I won’t let you call me Pastor like a title.

I am an apostle.  I am a pastor.  It isn’t my title, it is my job.  I am here to equip you to minister, to set you free from captivity, to inspire you to dream big and to challenge you to live the dream.

I am going to plant a network of churches over Europe so no one has to drive more than one-hour to reach a Tree of Life Church.  I am going to disciple a million people in the UK and help them be the best Christian they ever could be, beyond all they can ask or imagine.  I am going to train and raise up a thousand pastors who fear no one but God, hate nothing but sin and who dream huge dreams.

I will pastor Tree of Life Dagenham and it will be a model church for all of Europe, we will build a headquarters in Dagenham that will be training and loving people all over the world.   Our preaching and music will cover the globe.  Already there isn’t a moment where someone isn’t listening to me preach somewhere in the world.  The music ministry and song writing of our church is already sublime, but you haven’t seen nothing yet.

We will get a building in Dagenham that is ours 24-7 where we will pastor London, teach Europe and reach the world.

We will be a church full of the Word, full of the Spirit, full of the nations and full of love.  You can choose to be part of it, or you can sit on the sidelines and throw stones, either way it will happen.