For the first post I had on this topic, click here.
My #1 ministry value: to want more FOR people than FROM people. I recently heard this phrased by a great friend of mine and it really captured how I feel. It’s an intense desire to see the church flourish.
My greatest desire when I minister somewhere is to ADD. I want to add to their ministry, add to their encouragment-tank, add to what God is blessing in their midst. I never want to subtract or replace–that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. One of the questions some close friends and I have been asking each other is, “What ingredient or spice can I add to you? What can I add to your sauce?” When this becomes your heart’s desire, you don’t fear other people’s success, you celebrate it because you’ve participated in it. You stop competing in an unhealthy way and start edifying.
My heart breaks when hosts think I don’t want to talk to them after an event is over. What’s sad is that the culture of using people is so prevalent that follow-up can be viewed with suspicion. We need to learn how to be good friends to each other. I can’t just show up to do a gig. For me, delivering from the stage is not enough. That’s not how Jesus operated. He didn’t just preach and hit the green room. He got His hands dirty, He talked with people, He debriefed with His disciples. If you don’t give more than the stage, you’re limiting the amount of seed you’re sowing. Relationship is cultivated in the calls, texts, and prayers that no one else knows about.
My point isn’t that everyone has to be best friends just because they did a conference together. My point is that we’re called to a higher standard. If you invite people to minister, don’t treat them like hirelings. You can’t pay a guy or band enough money to justify using them like that. When I invite guests, I still want to add. I want them to be able to tell their family, “I missed being away from home but hanging with Mike and his crew was almost worth leaving you guys for!” When ministries flourish, a big part of that is because they receive and honor people out of a generous SPIRIT, not a generous checkbook.
The cycle of “you get yours, I get mine” has to be broken. It’s not of the kingdom of God. Let’s demonstrate that we want more FOR people than FROM them. It’s about what we can GIVE, not what we can GET. That breaks the spirit of mammon, jealousy, opportunism, entitlement, and orphan-thinking. Add some good stuff to the sauce, friends.