Thursday, February 8, 2007

Honor Your Leaders

God is grooming a new generation of men and women who are committed, in humility, to a two-word command in Scripture: Honor all. Fawn Parrish, Honor
My wife and I are a part of an amazing church that is hosting an Awaken the Dawn conference for the emerging generation. God has given the leadership of this church and ministry much favor as multiple well-known speakers are coming from around the world such as Heidi Baker, Dr. Michael Brown, Steve Thompson, Lou Engle, Allen Hood, Roger Joyner, and Brian Heasley. I believe a part of this can be contributed to the priority of honor that we seek to embody at Grace Church.

As a part of the hospitality team for the conference, it is our utmost desire to honor these servants in a way that refreshes them since they give so much to others. We have constructed a plan to honor them through gift baskets in their hotel rooms, letters from people whose lives have been touched by them, prophetic words from proven vessels, and comfortable lodging. Above all, we want to lavish God’s love and affections upon them.

Honoring those whose lives have touched us

Two years ago when I found out that Lou Engle was going to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2005 Awaken the Dawn conference, my heart yearned to find a means of honoring this intercessor-warrior. I had first learned about Lou Engle on Christmas Day in 1998 while reading Che Ahn’s book Into the Fire in one sitting. My heart was stirred to meet this “incomparable intercessor” as described by Che Ahn who had labored with Lou since the 80’s to bring revival to Los Angeles. So several months later I found myself in Pasadena praying with Lou Engle at 5:00 am in the Mott Auditorium for a week. During that time he gave me a book by Frank Bartleman on the Azusu Street Revival.

My heart longed to honor this man whose ministry had inspired and touched my life. I decided to pray about giving a specific book to Lou that would bless him. Initially I was leaning towards a book by George Grant called Lost Causes – however, the Lord revealed to me the book to get for Lou through a dream. In this dream I am at the conference with Lou telling him that I was going to get him a book called Lost Causes. He asks me to show him this book so I take him to the bookstore in the church. Once I enter the room, I noticed that the books were out of order and I could not find the book. Interestingly Lou was fixated upon another book – America: Built on Character, Founded on Faith. Something was obviously stirring his heart deeply. He had forgotten about Lost Causes, leaving instead with this new book.

I sensed that this was indeed a prophetic dream from the Lord concerning what book to get for Lou. I was able to purchase this book at the bookstore in town. On the night that Lou was scheduled to speak I took the book to give to Lou with a letter explaining the dream and expressing my gratitude for his influence in my life. He was captivated by the book because on the cover it stated in bold print: Defining Moments in Our Nation’s History. He shared with me that many prophetic words had been given to him recently that our Nation was at a defining moment in history.

The crux of my motivation in this was to honor this man-of-God. How was I able to accomplish this? First I spent time in prayer for Lou and for God’s directive in honoring him. Then I took time to write a brief, but specific letter on how his life has made a difference in my life. Here are a few brief thoughts on how we can honor leaders in the Body of Christ:
  • Set aside time to pray for them
  • Give them a timely, accurate prophetic word, dream, revelation or Scripture
  • Share how their ministry has impacted your life
  • Stand with them by giving financially into their ministry
  • Give your time to serve the vision that God has given them
Who are the leaders in your sphere that you can honor through a letter? Who are the shepherds that God has appointed in your life that need your prayer? Whose ministries (past and present) have made a difference in your life that you could contact to express your gratitude? How can you serve in your present church? These are just a few question to help stimulate some ideas that lead to action. Take the time this week to consider how you might honor those who have labored as leaders within the Body of Christ.

Honor touches deep within

I want to share a personal story from my past experience in campus ministry. In 1999 I took several student leaders to a week long training institute. During that time I was helping to facilitate the institute, including an opportunity to preach in the mornings. My heart is stirred whenever I am able to preach the word of God. Even though I only had 15 minutes each morning, I preached my heart as if I were preaching to a million listeners! Afterwards on the ride back, one of my students quipped that when I was preaching in the morning it made them so proud that I was their campus minister. It was all I could do to hold my composure. As soon as I dropped off the students and was alone, tears gushed out uncontrollably. I had spent the year laboring diligently on the campuses trying to make disciples and, at times, I felt I was falling short of my own expectations. These heart-felt words of honor served to touch a place deep in my heart releasing much needed healing.

Who is the road-weary leader that you have an opportunity to honor in your life?

For His Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

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