Respecting the Process

The Kingdom Hero Show – Episode 71

-Begin Transcript –

Welcome to The Kingdom Hero Show, where CHRIST is KING and the TRUTH matters! Our mission: To advance the Kingdom of God by shining the Kingdom Light everywhere we go!

Now you’re probably sayin’, “Hold up there, chief. That’s not quite the same mission statement I remember from the last show.” Yeah, you are absolutely 100% correct. The wording has changed slightly, but the meaning is still there. It happens, folks. Things change, and that isn’t the last of it either.

For you who don’t already know, our website address has changed again as well. KingdomHero.net still works through the end of the year, but the new site name better reflects the direction of this ministry. That new web address is (insert fanfare and drum roll here) TheKingdomLight.com!

Some of you are rolling your eyes at me. Don’t roll your eyes at me. You’re sayin’, “Dude, WHY all the changes? The website already changed less than a year ago. Why you doin’ it again? What’s up with all these changes?” Okay, fair enough. But guess what? My military friends will understand what I’m about to say next. Sometimes, the mission shifts. It’s true, ask anyone who’s ever served in the armed forces. That’s right up there with the expression hurry up and wait. We did a lot of that in the Army, let me tell ya. If there’s one constant in the universe – besides God – it’s CHANGE.

Now, the message of Christ never changes, but the methods for presenting that message are in a constant state of flux. So if today God is telling me to do a podcast, but tomorrow He says to start a radio station, or whatever, it behooves me to obey – shift the mission, change the website, whatever the case may be. Capiche? Okay, good. Let’s move on.

What? I’m just sayin’.

On today’s program, I wanna talk about the importance of the process. More specifically, reasons why we need to endure the process even when we think we’re beyond that. If you have no idea what I mean by this, stick around, it will all become clear very soon, I promise you. But first…

Yep, you know the drill: Subscribe to my Rumble channel. THAT has NOT changed. I still want you to do that. You’ll find the link on our official website – TheKingdomLight.com, that’s TheKingdomLight.com. You’ll also notice that the right-hand column of the website now features our Twitter feed. Everything we tweet out from our GCM Twitter account shows up in that right side panel. And while you’re there, go ahead and visit the Kingdom Storehouse and get yourself some swag to show your faith and support for the program. There are t-shirts, coffee mugs, keychains, all kinds of great stuff. Get some as gifts, some for yourself, just do it. Sound good? Good, let’s go…

– Open Tag: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to Let the KINGDOM HEROICS Begin! –

Yes, indeed. We had a bit of a hiatus there, took a little time off from the podcast, but now we’re back. Before we jump into today’s topic, I wanna go ahead and feature just a couple of Twitter responses from this past week.

This first one is directed as a response to some who seem to think that my political criticisms are all against one party – the democrats. Now, I stand by my critique of many democrats, mainly the far lefties, but I will once again clarify my stance. See I don’t see people as republican or democrat, or anything that is merely a surface layer self-assigned label. I try to see what is morally RIGHT or WRONG instead. And to be completely clear, I want to deal in the realm of GOOD and EVIL more than anything else. So here’s my tweet addressing that…

Next, I responded to a tweet from Lauren Chen over the weekend in which she asks what I’m sure is a rhetorical question…

Again, these are from my personal Twitter account rather than the GCM account. You can follow either through the website. Just go to TheKingdomLight.com, and hit the Social Media link in the menu near the top of the page.

Now… It’s time to talk about Respecting the Process. Well, WHAT process? What am I really saying here? I’m glad you asked that question. Here’s the story…and it’s a true story…

Before moving back to Tennessee this year, I lived in Georgia for about 30 years. During that time, I served in varying capacities within church ministry. I sang, played drums, even led worship. I also served as director of the audio-visual department. I helped write and direct church dramas, and I acted in them as well. At one point, I even handled the church finances. Yeah, I did almost everything but preach.

See, now I have relocated and I’m attending church HERE. And when I heard God telling me that my rest period was over, and it was time to get back to being involved with the local church, I knew He was right. He’s always right. So I approached a member of the church leadership after service one Sunday. I told him I had been heavily involved in leadership for many years at my previous church and felt God calling me back to serve.

Here’s the thing: While I have years of valuable experience in church leadership, it does not automatically follow that I just jump into a spot at my new church. I was invited to attend what they call “Next Steps” classes which familiarize people with that particular church, what they believe, and guides people through discovering they’re gifts and learning where they can be of service on the church’s iServe teams. Awesome.

Now imagine if I’d been prideful and taken a hard line saying something like, “Didn’t you hear what I just said? I’ve been in church leadership for decades already. I don’t need to take classes.”

“Blazing Saddles” clip

Well, I can promise you this: If that was my response, I would definitely need an attitude adjustment before being ready to serve effectively. In fact, it was through my many years in leadership that I came to learn how important it is to undergo a process before taking on a leadership role of any kind.

Maybe that’s not how it’s done in some places, but I definitely believe it is wise to have such an onboarding process if you want dedicated and effective leaders in your church. So I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the church I’m so interested in serving at, and I DO respect the process. I believe this idea applies to any leadership position – even a pastor.

Some years ago, the church I attended had the challenge of finding a new pastor when our sitting pastor retired. The church formed a committee of members charged with the task of seeking out a replacement. There was a process. They took several applications from men who had been preaching and serving as pastors for years. They listened to sermons. They discussed which candidates would best fit the body and fellowship of believers. Then they had to narrow it down until there was one stand-out among them. They prayed about it and sought God’s direction. In the end, God honored that process and brought His chosen leader to pastor the church.

It quickly became obvious to everyone that they had done the right thing. The process was crucial, and no one doubted that the right person – the man hand-picked by God Himself – was who became the next pastor. Let me offer this to you: If the process is important when choosing a pastor, it’s also vital when placing other workers in positions of leadership in the church.

-Break Transcript –

We’re talking today about respecting the process. There are so many applications to this concept. If you are trying for a new job somewhere, and you go to an interview, and you tell them about all your experience – and you may be completely qualified for the position – it’s not a lock that you’re gonna get the job. And even if they DO choose to hire you, there’s likely to be a training process required before you can start. Such a process is necessary to find out people’s skills, evaluate strengths and areas that need work, and so on. It’s no different in service to the Kingdom.

I mentioned earlier all that experience I’ve had in church leadership, but when starting over at a new church, I still have to respect the process they have in place if I want to serve there. And I wanna get to why this is so important.

Years ago, while serving on a worship team, a man approached our worship leader after a service and said he wanted to join the team. Great, right? We can always use more workers in the Kingdom. So then, the worship leader told him she wanted to have him audition. His response? “Oh no, I don’t need to audition. I already KNOW I can sing.” Uhm, okay. Someone is missing the point here. It’s not just about whether you can sing. It’s also about whether or not you are willing to submit to authority. This guy showed really fast that he wasn’t one for submitting to authority, let alone a process.

Needless to say, that gentleman never did join the praise team – nor the church for that matter. And yes, I do believe church membership should be a prerequisite for entering church leadership – kind of a no-brainer. Instead, he soon took his pride and left our church, never to return. I mention this because that pridefulness and lack of willingness to submit to the process is indicative of someone who is NOT ready for the kind of commitment and dedication which is necessary to effectively serve in the Kingdom. When it’s about me, or my talent, or my experience, then I have the wrong attitude.

Over the years, I have served alongside some wonderful people. But I have also seen a few people on stage who were just there to be seen. That was during a time when we lacked a good onboarding process. But see, it’s during the process that you learn how committed someone is gonna really be. Are they gonna show up for practice on time? Will they be dependable? Or do they just wanna be part of a show? Do they just want to be seen and heard? The fundamental truth that every person who serves should grasp is that, in fact, you are SERVING God. And it’s not about you or your grand abilities to play an instrument or sing or whatever – no, it’s about your obedience and willingness to give your all for Jesus. It’s all about Him!

Let’s do the military analogy. When I joined the Army, they didn’t just automatically hand me a weapon on the day I enlisted and send me into combat. And I’m very grateful they didn’t! I’d have been dead in no time. No, they sent me to basic training. And some people wash out during basic. After I passed basic training, I still wasn’t ready for combat. There was still more training. They sent me on to AIT, which is Advanced Individual Training. See, basic training is just that – basic. I often joke that we learned just enough hand-to-hand combat in basic to get in trouble. During the advanced training, we learned other specific skills to prepare us for specific duties within the Army.

I could go on and on about this process, but the point is – THE PROCESS IS IMPORTANT. People who aren’t willing to endure the process aren’t going to accomplish a lot. Think about this: You will never reach a single goal in life without first submitting yourself to a process. It’s true in every aspect of life. No one within the sound of my voice right now played on a school sports team without going through a process. Not a one of you has ever received a diploma without going through a process. No one has gotten a degree, become a doctor or lawyer, or even had a successful relationship without first surrendering to a process. That’s just how life is. So get used to it.

As for this necessary process I’m currently engaged in, to become a part of my new church’s servant leadership, I am committed to that process. I have to be. And I should submit to it willingly, and without prideful hesitation, and without any silly resentment – ’cause that’s pride, too – but with patience and respect for the process. Because it’s through that process that God shapes me and trains me and forms me into something useful to the Kingdom.

Jesus chose His Disciples carefully. He told them what was expected of them. He taught them, trained them, and when His time of ministry on Earth was done, He gave them a job to do – the Great Commission – the most important job ever. Now, that’s our job, too. Not just to reach the world with the Gospel, but to live it, to be examples for the world as Christ was for us. You can’t teach others what you haven’t first learned for yourself, and you don’t learn anything of value… without… a process.

We read in the Bible where early leaders in the church had to train others. There has to be someone else to carry on the Great Commission when we pass away. This is a process that doesn’t end until Jesus returns. And my prayer today is that each and every one of you will surrender yourself to the process God has laid out before you. Maybe it’s in your relationship, your marriage, or perhaps it’s within your commitment to some task that He has for you to do. Whatever it is, let go of your pride. Let go of anything that hinders you from submitting yourself to that process. Obey. And trust God to bring you through it. Because, on the other side of the process, God has a great reward awaiting you.

Before wrapping up today’s show, I wanna mention something that might seem a little off topic. But it’s more of an example of the importance of honoring God’s process for Christian living. It is vital that we stay rooted in the Word in order to guard ourselves from false teachings. Let me read to you an excerpt from the book, Without Rival, by Lisa Bevere:

Okay, there are a few things to unpack from this – and I want you to realize why the type of experiment being taught here is NOT part of our process of growth as believers. In fact, this line of thinking is very dangerous!

Can God speak to us? Absolutely. But He doesn’t speak out of both sides of His mouth. He’s not going to speak anything to your spirit that doesn’t line up with what He has spoken in His holy Word. People unfamiliar with the scriptures can imagine almost anything being “whispered” to them. It’s the not knowing what He’s already said in the Bible that makes this practice dangerous.

If you want to seek out what God is telling you, don’t close your eyes and let your imagination (or worse, a demonic presence) speak to you. OPEN your eyes, read His Word, and seek His will in prayer. Measure everything alongside the scriptures and don’t let yourself be deceived!

Speaking of the Bible, the author’s awful advice takes a passage out of context. “Be still and know.” Period, she says. The way that line is presented implies that you can be still and know that whatever words pop into your mind are actually from God. This should be a huge warning flag. That’s not what the passage of scripture states. Here’s what the Bible actually says:

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10

THAT’s what God’s Word says. The passage has nothing at all to do with this grossly misguided experiment.

Also, the mentioned exercise is already directing you to “hear” positive words. Look again at what she says: “Don’t be afraid that you are making up words of love and value.” Uhm, you’d better be concerned about this!

What if God has some corrective instructions for you? Instead, you’ll just imagine happy fluffy things that you want to hear. That’s deception. This practice is evil, and it will delude your thinking. In other words, we need to be wise regarding mysticism and subjective experiences, such as what is being promoted here. God said His Word is sufficient, and it is. The practice offered in Lisa Bevere’s book is part of process to deceive you, not part a Biblical process for spiritual growth. God’s process involves knowing what His Word really says. Wanna know how God sees you? All you gotta do is read the scriptures. He states it clearly right there.

And speaking of scripture, I’ll leave you with this one:

So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:4-6

Remember: None of us were born as fully grown adults. We went through a process of childhood and growing up. It’s the process that matures us and prepares us to become more than we are. Without it, we stagnate, never changing, never growing. We are not yet what we are becoming, and it’s the process that gets us there. So humble yourself. Study the Word. Trust God, lean on Him, and He will lead you through the process – HIS PROCESS – into favor and success! I’m just sayin’.

-End Transcript –

Author: stacemassengill

I am a blood-bought saint of God, saved by His amazing Grace! God called me to start Great Commission Ministries online in June of 2011, and that began as a video series called "The GC." After 7 seasons of that web-series, I felt led to expand the ministry to blogs as well as a new video series I called "67 seconds of Encouragement." Eventually, the blogs became a podcast. And the ministry continues to grow from that, currently in the form of The Kingdom Hero Show. My prayer is that this ministry brings hope and encouragement to everyone who finds it. Please share it with others and help spread the Good News of Christ!

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