One time after a service at CTFDFW a guy I’d never met before walked up to me and handed me his business card.
“Hi. My name is __________. I’ve been teaching a Bible study in the area for the last 25 years. I’d like to offer my services to speak at your church on a weekend. I’m especially anointed in the area of giving; so if you need someone to teach your people about kingdom giving, the blessed life, or on leadership, I’d love to help you.”
I’m not kidding. First time I’d ever seen him or heard of him and he’s inviting himself to speak to at my church.
I’m sure he meant well. If he has been teaching the scripture for 25 years, he’s likely very gifted and I assume many people have been impacted positively for kingdom purposes. But this little incident highlights some things I’m learning to value as a leader.
I value relationship.
Gifting and experience are not the primary things that qualify someone for leadership. Church is a family not a business, and a resume is insufficient to qualify anyone for platform, title or position. You might be surprised how often I have conversations with people who lead with their verbal resume. Let me tell you about my experience. Let me tell you about my skills. Let me tell you how gifted I am. Let me tell you what I’m called to do. I actually do value experience, skills, gifting and calling. But the seemingly compulsive need to talk about those things demonstrates a failure to understand the priority of connection and relationship. A person’s experience, skills, gifting and calling are part of their qualification for leadership. These speak to their ability. But prioritizing those things in conversation where there is limited relationship demonstrates a low value for relationship and an overvaluing of ability. This speaks to character and worldview.
I value culture.
This is related to the above. We are working to cultivate a Culture of Honor. This means we are working to build healthy relationships that make up a healthy community capable of sustaining multi-generational revival. These relationships are characterized by self-management, honor and vulnerability. Those characteristics are demonstrated through confrontation and boundaries. People in a culture of honor recognize and respect other people’s boundaries. People in a culture of honor establish and maintain their own boundaries, with an expectation that others will recognize and respect those boundaries. In a culture of honor, the violation of boundaries results in confrontation. Those committed to building a culture of honor both confront and are confront-able.
I value service.
It’s not always the case, but very often a deficit in one or both of the above values correlates to a deficit in this value. Those who prioritize gifting and experience above relationship are often less than willing to jump in and serve where needed if that need doesn’t feel like a next step in their gift/calling trajectory. Those who don’t do healthy boundaries and confrontation in a manner that builds and protects connection are often less than willing to faithfully serve behind the scenes. I suppose sometimes the reason they violate boundaries is because those limits feel very much in the way of where they want to go. And where they want to go is rarely an unseen place of love and service.
Whether you are at CTF or not, I believe that adopting these values will help you. I’m growing in all of them myself and have clear memories of times I’ve failed to live by them too. Let’s grow together. It’s a kingdom way of living.