God-Centered Sacrifices

This week, in our home church, Pastor WD Favour’s teaching on ASTUTE LEADERSHIP steered the string of events.

We started, as always, by getting our souls drenched in serene worship. Still in the air of solemnity, I stimulated our spirits with a brief teaching. It was about making sure God becomes the primary reason for our sacrifices and self-denials. I said “Whatever you GIVE UP FOR GOD comes back to you multiplied. But you’re really got to be sure God is the reason you gave it all up.” “Never seek glory by self-sacrifice.” (I corinthians13:1-3).

I said this because most times, you see Christians giving up things and making painful sacrifices  with selfish instead of godly motives . “You engage in idolatory each time you give up things purportedly  God, but with some other selfish agenda as your primary motive.” God rewards you only when He, on probing your heart, finds you gave it all up for Him.

Almost paradoxically, I stressed that it’s also idolatory setting your heart on the rewards that your sacrifices for God bring. God wants you to set your heart on Him, and not on anything else – not even on His blessings. This teaching stemmed from Pastor WD Favour’s saying last week during the Leadership Forum that, “there is a world of differences between giving things to God and giving things up for God.”

Subsequently, we commenced talks on how to optimize our home church and improve our results. Questions were dished out, and each of us barred their minds on what they considered our strengths, weak points; what has been working, what is not working, how to amplify and upgrade our pluses and get more leadership-oriented people involved. We made a list of all our opinions, dwelt on a few, and kept the rest for next week.

Next, we gave our offerings, brainstormed for our presentation in church on Sunday, and closed amid exclamations of joy as one of us – a virtuous lady – who had traveled, came walking in.

Praise the Lord!

Becoming A Great Leader

Royalty picBecoming a great leader is no easy matter. It requires the desire to affect your world positively.

If your reaction to this statement is, “I can make a good manager in my work place but am not out to change the world,” then you’ll most likely remain an average leader.

Great leaders cause things to happen through people.

How much you cause the world to change is up to you. It happens by choice, and it defines your success as a leader.

In order to become astute leaders we must personally answer several challenging questions, such as, “How do we take our scarce resources, and transform them into phenomenal results?”

While optimizing our activities in the home church, we realized the need to enhance the participations of members in the goal setting process, because feedbacks and alternative perspectives are essential for the progress of the home church.

Finally, being an astute leader entails a lot of characteristics that aren’t always easy to live up to, and live with. But they will make us strong. By mastering and utilizing effective leadership skills we can be great leaders, by being great leaders we will leave our ‘footprints’ in the ‘sands’ of time.

Join us on this pathway to royalty and nobility…

God bless you.

Excellent Presentations with a Global Flair

Accurate evaluation can only be made with pre-determined goals and objectives.

We assessed our performance so far with a goal we set at the start of the year, which was to build independent thinkers who can express themselves through their unique gifts and talents to the glory and admiration of God.

The creativity, innovativeness, and other results thus far in the Infinity Home Church, is a pointer to the fact that we’ve been quite successful.

However, since the reward for hard work is more work, we decided to embrace more strategic goals and challenges that will enhance our personal development and productivity.

Questions like, “what are our strategic objectives as a Home Church, and what results are we aiming for?” were thrown to the leaders of the Infinity Home Church.

These are tantamount questions, as the answers are fundamental results which when achieved will automatically enable the achievement of further strategic results.

“We want excellent presentations with a global flair and the effective harnessing of individual skills and talents for profit maximization,” a member reaffirmed. “We must build a system that enables the harnessing and monetization of talents.”

We reviewed our presentations, which so far, was working and yielding desired results like increasing the number of committed leaders in the Infinity Home Church. We developed better strategies to optimize its result-producing capacity.

…our soap series

By the way, with regards to our presentations, we’ve been running a soap series titled ‘The Issues of Life.’ Its about a father who was so carried away by his career that he neglected his two daughters. Consequently, they grew up resenting him as his actions had had a negative impact on their self-esteem and self-confidence.

He is advanced in age now, and wants to be a father. Is there still any opportunity for reconciliation and a new chapter in their relationship? His daughters, Nina and Micky had dreams to be world class music artist. Will their dreams be gone with the wind due to utter neglect – the absence of nurture?

The saga continues because as the Infinity Home Church slogan says, “…It Never Ends”.

After we had reached our conclusions and drawn the curtain on our deliberations, a member said, “I’m grateful to God. I know there is something in here for all of us, and for sure, its big”.

Have an exciting weekend and God bless you.

Optimizing Your Leadership Performance

This article is from my weekly lectures [on the subjects of leadership development, optimization, and productivity] delivered at the Leadership Forum of our church. It is of particular relevance to home church pastors, group leaders, and Christian business leaders. The present post is a continuation of last week’s Become an Astute Leader.

My primary emphasis in this lecture series on strategic thinking, optimization, productivity, and leadership development, is that you can accomplish so much more simply by applying your efforts at certain key areas.  As I wrote in Become an Astute Leader, optimizing your leadership performance is not necessarily about changing what you are doing; it’s rather more about upgrading, evolving, taking your most effective efforts to ever increasing levels of productivity and impact. Its about making the most out of the smallest.

Optimization is the process by which you get more and better result from WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE by making little and incremental adjustments at critical points of your overall operations.

For more about how little things, consistently done over time, gradually accumulate into large things that can then be leveraged over and over and over again to create even bigger and more significant accomplishments, read How To Boost Your Productivity and Become A Happier Person.

Discern the results that will give you the results that will give you the results you need!

Fundamental to optimizing your leadership performance, of course, is vision clarity – a sharp, clear, definite, and unambiguous picture of your end result. In other words, you need to know the exact results you NEED to have.

In 4 Steps To Boost Your Productivity, I referred to this as your Personal Success Indices, and pointed out some helpful guides towards determining the objectives that resonate with your personality – what creates that inner sense of fulfillment, ‘specialness’, and relevance.  It will be very helpful to read that post in order to aid your discovery, in very specific terms, of the tangible and intangible results that you desire to see in your life from your various efforts.

However, beyond a clear picture of your end result, you must be astute enough to recognize the primary results that will give you the secondary results that will give you the  tertiary results, on and on to your ultimate results. 

You see, it is very easy to become so focused on the end result that we become blind to those little things that NEED to be accomplished in the moment before the ultimate dream can be achieved. This is a common cause of failure among dreamers.

In reality, though, the path from the foundational result, to the ultimate result is not always linear and logical.

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Illustrations from my pastoral experiences

How in the world, for instance, as a young and inexperienced pastor, would I have known that overcoming my need to socialize was going to be critical to growing the numerical and spiritual strength of the church?

I wanted our church membership to increase in numbers as well as grow spiritually, and I theorized that I would accomplish this by frequently visiting each member in their various homes. By so doing, I imagined, they would know I cared for them and loved them, which in turn would inspire them to become more devoted to God, church attendance, and evangelism.

This idea was inspired in part by what I had read in a church growth manual. I called it my home visitation strategy. It made sense, appeared smart, and I felt it was going to work.

Well, it didn’t.

I quickly observed that the church grew more when I wasn’t visiting than after I implemented my home visitation strategy.

As a matter of fact, I noticed that the numerical strength and spiritual development of the church was rapidly diminishing, not in spite of, but actually as a result of my home visitations! 🙂

Of course I was bewildered!

But then I also got the point, and thankfully soon enough; they didn’t want me visiting them. They would rather I stayed back at home and did whatever it was I did that made them experience God every time they assembled in church.

It had seemed to me that visiting them would have gotten them to come and commit. In practice, however, it didn’t; it rather had the opposite effect.

In the end, I could have stubbornly stuck with an unproductive fantasy of mine just because it appeared ‘pastoral’ and ‘caring’ and then watched the church die as a result. Instead, thanks to God, I learnt. I got the point.

I learnt that the fundamental result I needed to have, towards a secondary result of growing the church numerically and spiritually, wasn’t the goal of visiting 50 members per week as a pastor. That wasn’t a basic result to gun for.

A more fundamental result was to overcome my own need to socialize, become more disciplined in prayers, meditations, personal spiritual growth, and intimacy with God.

This understanding, of course, reshaped my priorities and redefined the focus of my time and resources.

Yet in the beginning I saw a logical but illusory path from (achieving the visitation result of) 50 members per week, to growing the church numerically and spiritually. In retrospect, considering my personality and several other factors, I now know that that path never existed for me.

The Paradox

So identifying the primary results that will give you the secondary results that will give you the tertiary and ultimate results you need – and hence define what you need to focus on in the moment – does not necessarily happen by backtracking from the ultimate results. Such backtracking might yield a logical sequence of steps that ultimately lead to failure!

The wise man identified this paradox when he wrote that:

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12).

Nevertheless, you can become adept at discerning the results that will give you the results that will give you the results you need.

As you can imagine, this discernment – a core aspect of the distinction of astute leaders – comes from a combination of instinct, intuition, observation, experience, and even more.

Accurate discernment that THIS, (a present ‘insignificant’ occupation), will inevitably lead to THAT, (an ultimate phenomenal result), is an invaluable asset.

At the onset, astute leaders usually don’t make sense because they appear to be so focused on very ‘insignificant’ objectives (like, in my case, spiritual contemplation as opposed to house call). In the end, however, the world is wowed by their ultimate results.

The Key

The key to this discernment is to not become emotionally attached to your ideas and opinions (or those of others for that matter) as to what will or will not work; and neither to the means and methods adopted by you, or anyone else for that matter.

Yes, you might have to begin with a hunch, an intuition, an intelligent guess, your best bet, whatever you may chose to call it, plus lessons from others’ experiences, as to what will work. But then you must quickly begin to pass them through the hot crucible of actual performance.

You would notice the principle at work in my case. The initial idea as to what should work came from a book I had read, in combination with my own religious instincts. However, when it was subjected to the heat of actual practice, it proved counterproductive. So I abandoned the idea, but in the process stumbled upon what I should have been doing in the first instance.

Bear in mind, however, that I was able to abandon that idea as a pastor because I was not sentimentally attached to it. Otherwise, I would have been stubbornly stuck to it to my detriment and that of the people I was trying to pastor.

Develop the brutal objectivity that judges methods and performances strictly on the basis of fruitfulness; in other words, on the basis of how well they enhance, enable, accelerate, or actually produce desirable and strategic results.

In learning from your own efforts and those of others ahead of you, be brutally honest and objective in separating what is working from those that aren’t working.

This is critical to optimizing your leadership performance.

Your story ends in victory!

Take a few minutes and meditate on the following verse:

“You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed”
~ Psalm 139:16

Pastor WD Favour preaching at the Victory Bible Institue, Tulsa Did you know that God has already recorded every part of your life from the beginning to the end?
He knows every disappointment, every loss, every challenge.
And the good news is that your story ends in victory!

God has written out a plan to bless and prosper you, and regardless of what anyone is saying about you or doing to you, your final chapter concludes with you fulfilling your God-given destiny!

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In this audio message, you will learn the keys to make sure you get to that particular glorious end of your God-given destiny.

It’s time to let it go of the disappointments of yesterdays  and turn the page to the new chapter God has in store for you!

Your happiest, brightest, and greatest days are still ahead of you!

If I Perish, I Perish

That’s the mantra of legends.

My sermon yesterday was an inspiration to God’s people to trust God’s words and move on in faith, in spite of our fears. Read Esther’s final response to Mordecai regarding the threat of annihilation that her people faced under evil Haman.

"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:16).

Champions defy their fears

I’m certain Esther was really scared. Mordecai was asking her to do something that could mean death. So, Esther had cause to be afraid. But she made the decision to damn her fears and move on. The rest is history.

Everybody gets scared. Champions, however, damn their fears and go ahead anyway. They do the very things they are scared of doing in spite of their fears.

When Esther defied her fears, she activated powerful and unexpected forces that released freedom and prosperity for her people.

Every time you defy your fears in order to pursue God’s plans and thoughts for your life, you activate powerful, supernatural, and mysterious forces in your favour.

The blessings and abundance that God has prepared for you even in this life are infinitely beyond your imaginations.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).

But you must defy your fears to enjoy them.

Designed to fly

You are a supernatural being.

""They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. "I said, ‘You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler"." (Psalms 82:5-7).

You are a peculiar person. You are supposed to live a supernatural life.

What kills others should never kill you. When thousands and tens of thousands are being knocked down on the left and on the right, it should never come near you.

In other words, you are meant to operate above natural forces. You are designed to overcome. You are designed to fly in spite of all the negative forces in your physical and spiritual environment.

Think of an eagle in flight. For that eagle to fly, it has to overcome gravity and maintain its height and motion in flight. To do this, the eagle generates an opposing force called lift – an aerodynamic air force.

As the eagle moves through the air there is another aerodynamic force present referred to as drag. It opposes the motion of the eagle. To overcome drag, the eagle must generate another force called thrust.

The flight of the eagle depends on its capacity to overcome gravity and drag.

So, when that eagle is flying, it’s not because the forces of gravity and drag have lost their potency. Far from it. In fact, those forces are greater on the eagle while in flight than when its grounded.

That eagle is able to take off into the air and maintain its flight because its designed to do so, its generating more powerful counter forces of lift and thrust, and the eagle is balancing those forces to advantage. That eagle or airplane can land whenever it wants. But it can always smile at gravity and say, "You, know, I can always rise up there in spite of your best efforts. Because I’m designed and equipped to fly"

Like the eagle, like the airplane, you are designed to soar to the heavens in spite of any resistance earth has to offer!

Jesus Christ is the perfect demonstration and manifestation of the capabilities that God has already built into us. Death could not hold Him captive. "Destroy this temple," He said, "and I’ll raise it up in three days." And though His enemies rolled a massive stone against the entrance of His tomb, and surrounded it with armed soldiers, Jesus Christ rose on schedule!

And as He is, so are we in this world.

Fear makes chickens out of eagles!

The eagle is also capable of walking on the ground like the chicken. Just like the plane is capable of crawling on the runway like a car.

So, the eagle can chose to move around like every other chicken, and the plane like other cars. Or they can chose to mount up on their wings and employ their full capabilities.

There’s no reason to live below God’s supernatural plan of abundance for you. You can make all the excuses in this world – age, environment, other people, and so on – but in the end its entirely up to you to chose to fly or to crawl.

Fear pulls you down to the reach, and control of natural forces. It could have stopped Esther from fulfilling her destiny. It could have stopped Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane. It can stop you too.

Fear is so dangerous to progress that God repeats the commandment ‘fear not’ more than 300 times in the bible.

Fear is the spiritual equivalent of the force gravity! If you don’t overcome it, you will never be able to fly.

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." (Hebrews 2:14-15).

So, it is your fears that make you a slave to anything. And,until you defy your fears, you can never fly.

Freedom and victory belongs to those who, when the occasion demands, are able to say "If I perish I perish."

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." (Revelation 12:11).

The attitude of ‘if I perish I perish’ is the lift and thrust that conquers fear and creates supernatural experiences for you.

If I perish I perish

Lift – the force that overcomes gravity – is generated in the wings of the eagle and airplane. The eagle goes to the top of the mountains, spreads its wings and lets the force of the wind take to new heights. Its designed, just like the plane, to harness the power of the wind to advantage. It is this design and power that distinguishes the eagles from the chickens, and distinguishes the airplane from the cars.

You can generate the attitude of ‘if I perish I perish’ by doing the same thing as the eagle.

How?

Esther shows us:

"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:16).

Fasting and prayers – the presence of the Lord and meditation – have no substitute for generating spiritual lift and thrust.

It’s time to get away from your busy schedule for a personal retreat of fasting, prayers, and meditation on God’s words. These are troubling times and only those who are able to generate enough spiritual lift and thrust will be able to soar high.

And in the end, you must actively go against your fears. That was what Esther did. That’s what champions do.

“If I perish, I perish.”

Your Personal Walk with God II

Beautiful girls playing Previously, we discussed "Your Personal Walk with God", which embodied the inspiring story of how my personal walk with God began, the challenges I encountered, and how the Lord set me free by filling me with His word and renewing my mind in the process.

It was a remarkable story.

So, this week, other members of our Home Church, the Infinity Home Church, told their own stories about their personal walks with God.

Bubbie’s story was reminiscent of the sermon summary – The Oracle: Your Secret to a Great life. Her birth was shrouded in spiritual mysteries and thus, at an early age, she prophesied.
She slumped to lukewarmness in her 11th grade, degenerating from true spirituality to the practice of religion. A preacher led her back to Jesus and her zeal was rekindled.

Uche, from a conservative family, was anti-social and she referred to God as the nice person upstairs who she met on Sundays. Her perfectionist tendencies made her intolerable of the shortcomings of others. However, God started His work and is still in the process of melting the ice. She ended with her phrase, "Its not my personal walk with Him but His personal walk with me".

We had our supervising Pastor – Pastor Emeka in our midst. He rounded off the discussion, bringing the series to an end.

We shared our testimonies and gave our tokens to God. After that, we had a brief rehearsal for our Sunday presentation and toasted, thanking God for His faithfulness in our lives and for ushering us into a new season of supernatural blessings and testimonies.

Next week, we’ll discuss "Become an Astute leader".

Have a lovely weekend and God bless you.

Be Your Own Prophet!

Why else would we, as busy as we are, gather here every Wednesday and spend a couple of hours?

This was the question I put forth in this week’s home church meeting; and the basic answers were “It’s because the meetings have become our individual hide-out with the Holy Spirit and with the life-changing word of God. It’s a place we, like iron, sharpen one another”.

I asked this question to make sure we don’t just see the home church meetings as a mere weekly religious obligation. I tickled our minds and stirred our spirits with a teaching that’ll turn you on: The Creative Power of Your Words.

Your nature, your most fundamental attribute, is that of a creator – since you’re born of God.

I pointed out that since God has given us a blank cheque (Deut 30:19), we ought to meticulously choose to create and bless our future.

Train your subconscious mind to be conscious of what you do and don’t do per day, especially what you say about your future.

God told us in Numbers 14: 28 that He’ll do what He hears us say. If you want to know what you’ll be like in the next five years, listen to what you are saying about yourself today.

You are not called to describe your situation. You’re called to change it by speaking to it. You’re a prophet!

Your ability to speak is not primarily for communication, but for creation –to call things into being. We are gods, and the language of gods is to call things which are not as though they were.

Speak to your mountains. It’s through speaking that you activate your faith!

The more you talk about something, the bigger it gets in your mind. Whatever dominates your mind dominates your life.

Your life moves in the direction of your words and of your focus.

You are a life-giving spirit. You are a creator.

Don’t evaluate yourself with your present negative circumstances. Don’t give in to people’s negative conclusions about you. Be God’s co-worker in your destiny by speaking into your life according to His word. Don’t bend your words to match and accommodate your situation.

We’ll stop here, to continue next week.

Forgive but don’t forget

‘Unity’ as it is said  does not mean uniformity, so it is always delightful for me to have my members bring in  their unique talents and twists into the mix that we call home church. A wise man once uttered that ‘no single individual can express all of God’ and I wholeheartedly  agree with him.

We examined the issue of forgiveness in this week’s home church and it was quite an invaluable discussion, considering that this is a common facet of daily living and relationships.

A member asserted that forgiveness means to be emotionally pleased with someone who offends us.

Another opined that it means withholding undesirable punishment from someone who has hurt us  in one way or the other.

‘To err is human’ is a cliché we are all familiar with. Even Jesus did not fail to include this phenomenon in the famous lord’s prayer that he taught his disciples. We agreed that it was important to forgive other people for our own sake and peace of mind. Holding on to past hurts and bitterness has a way of slowing us down emotionally and can even lead to malfunctioning of the human body.

Nonetheless, we still need to evaluate our connection with individuals who repeatedly hurt us.

This brings us to the adage ‘forgive and forget…’ Basically I don’t agree because one shouldn’t just be mindful of people’s motive but also the impact of their  actions. If someone repeatedly slaps you by mistake, you may have to shift  away from that person unless you want to continually move around with your face blue and black.

In my University days I had a roommate who, in what she termed factual jokes, will say hurtful things. Then I didn’t know any better and I  absorbed her comments. But today, I advise that we keep away from anyone who habitually verbally abuses us…forgive but don’t forget.

Have a swell weekend!

Become an Astute Leader

This article is from my weekly lectures [on the subjects of leadership development, optimization, and productivity] delivered at the Leadership Forum of our church. It is of particular relevance to home church pastors, group leaders, and Christian business leaders.

Average and mediocre leaders are unable to deliver excellent and strategic results even under the most favorable circumstances.

Astute leaders, on the other hand, are those very capable individuals that take very scarce resources in very difficult circumstances and transform them into phenomenal and beneficial results within the least possible time.

Considering the challenges of our times, I believe we need more astute leadership at the most basic levels of our missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses in the Body of Christ.

Astute leadership is all about optimization and strategic thinking. Its being able to align your activities and resources seamlessly with your objectives. This is no easy task, but you can and should do it.

Optimization is not necessarily about changing what you are doing; it’s rather more about upgrading, evolving, taking your most effective efforts to ever increasing levels of productivity and impact. Its about making the most out of the smallest.

God, of course, is the most astute Leader; He made everything out of nothing. That’s ultimate optimization – the zenith of astute leadership!

But we bear His image. We are His children. So we have His capacity to bring forth everything out of nothing in every sphere of our missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses.

The rest of this article shows you how to become an astute leader.

Your efforts vs your intended results
The relativity of the value of activities.

First of all, realize that all actions and activities are not equal. Some actions are far more valuable than others.

The value of any action or activity is measured in terms of the strategic results it yields. Taken from this standpoint, some actions are valuable while others are useless.

Actually, no action or activity is neutral. An activity either supports or sabotages your intended results.

In order to become an astute leader, you definitely need to understand that the value of any activity is relative to your intended result(s).

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Optimize your efforts
Results! Results! Results!

In order to optimize your efforts you’ve got to continuously ask yourself, "What are our strategic objectives as a home church [or whatever group]? What key results are we aiming for?"

You need to have the right objectives. These are those fundamental results that, when achieved, enable the achievement of further strategic results.

In other words, you need to know the exact results you NEED to have. But you must be astute enough to recognize the results that will give you the results you need.

Then you need further mental acuity to:

…discern the results that will give you the results that will give you the results you need!

You see, astute leadership demands strategic thinking which at the end of the day is simply a matter of focusing on essential results.

Levels of results:
Commitment… Multiplication… Freedom.

Level 1 – Commitment to personal responsibility, personal development, personal excellence, and personal success.

Your most fundamental result as a leader is to get your people to commit to personal responsibility, personal development, personal excellence, and personal success.

It is this commitment that allows them to make those difficult choices and sacrifices that will be required of them from time to time.

Astute leaders constantly ask the question, "How does this or that activity raise my people’s commitment to personal responsibility, development, excellence and success?"

This demands that you be a coach, mentor, and role model to them in these and other areas.

Then you must create the atmosphere and necessary challenges that make for growth and development.

Also, you must raise their levels of consciousness by getting them to see and hear the same things as you.

You see, it is the achievement of this basic result that enables you to realize a more strategic result – the multiplication of leaders within your home church, missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses.

Level 2 – Multiplication of leaders within your home church, missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses.

There is a world of difference between leaders and mere followers.

Leaders are burden bearers. They are go getters. They are achievers. The more leaders you develop, the more you get done.

As a pastor, for instance, my strategy is to focus on multiplying leaders, not increasing attendance. Leaders are more basic. People follow leaders. So the more quality leaders you have, the more attendance you create.

Now, and here’s the beauty of strategic thinking and optimization,  in order to create this second level of results, you don’t need to do anything different than what you are already doing for the basic level. You simply need to UPGRADE your efforts.

In other words, take your most effective actions at the basic level and apply them to those aspects of the basic level that are most relevant to creating the second level of result.

In this instance, it will be to use your most successful activities to get your people to assume greater responsibilities within the vision of the home church, missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses.

So, you see, by focusing on achieving the most essential result, and by optimizing your efforts and resources at that level, you inadvertently create the next level of result!

And it is this second level of result that gives you an even more strategic and high value result – the freedom to pursue higher dimensions of personal development and leadership responsibilities.

Level 3 – Freedom to pursue higher dimensions of personal development and leadership responsibilities.

The crowning genius of astute leaders is that they are not bogged down by those vital day to day chores and duties demanded by their home churches, missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses. They are free to pursue higher dimensions of personal growth and leadership responsibilities.

But this is only because their people are committed to personal responsibility, personal development, personal excellence, and personal success. And also because they’ve multiplied leaders within their home churches, missions, ministries, outreaches, and businesses.

Astute leaders are not bottle-necks. They inspire others by their own personal growth and development.

Applying the principles
Instances from our home churches.

Now we come back to the issue of the relative importance of activities:

Which of your home church activities are contributing the most to the basic results?

Which one of all that you do fires the people the most to commitment and excellence? Is it your bible study session, or the brainstorming for presentation ideas, or the rehearsals, or the presentation itself?

I think we know the answer to that question:
The challenge of the Sunday presentations has gotten more people to participate in our vision than any other thing we’ve ever done. It has become easier and faster to rope new people in and give them a sense of belonging even from their very first visit. So this is something that is clearly working.

The challenge now is to optimize it, to make it work even better, to make it produce even more.

Every home church should now be asking "How do we transform our weekly infotainment business into a leadership development and multiplication program?"

Home churches that find and implement effective answers to that question will create phenomenal results.

In the end its not about efforts, but more about the relevance of your efforts to strategic results.

God Works All Things Together For You

Pastor WD Favour preaching on radio God works all things together for you!
I’m absolutely certain of this because God said so in His Holy Word.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” ~ Romans 8:28 NLT

This audio message – God Works All Things Together for You – is powerful, and it is very prophetic too.

Download and listen to it now; you will experience a very powerful inspiration that will launch you into a new season of favours beyond your imaginations.

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You will be encouraged and strengthened as you learn that all your difficulties and challenges are merely stepping stones towards a brighter future.

When one door closes, God has another door already open for you to walk right through! In fact, the closing of one door is a sure sign that there’s a better door.

God is already working behind the scenes to give you supernatural testimonies!

How To Overcome Anxieties and Enjoy Better Health, Long Life, and Prosperity

My sermon yesterday was on how to overcome anxieties and enjoy better health, long life, and prosperity.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” ~ Matthew 6:31-32

Worries and anxieties lie at the root of most of our pains, failures, and frustrations today.

Whether it be ill health, or economic hardship, you’ve got to realize that worries and anxieties open the doors for evil forces to torment you.

This is the reason God instructs us not worry about ANYTHING.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6

Anything means anything including:

Am I ever going to pay my bills and get out of debt? Will I ever be able to have enough cash flow to enjoy a good life? Am I ever going to find the right person to marry? Will this illness ever go away?

All these and every other concerns of yours are included in that ‘ANYTHING’ of which we should never worry about.

But, you say, how in the world am I going to stop being anxious with all the stuff pressing in on me, and my life heading nowhere and even falling apart?

My answer to you is very simple:

You worry so much because you do not trust God to do what He says in His word.

Which, by the way, is an insult to God; an insult to His person, and His integrity.

Worries and anxieties characterize a weak and shallow relationship with God.

It is impossible to be worried and anxious about anything when your relationship with God is deep and intimate, because anxiety is negative spirituality and thus incompatible with the divine presence.

The pathway out of worries and anxieties, leading to peace, great joy, robust health, fulfillment and success, is to strengthen and deepen your intimacy with God.

Here’s a very simple, failure-proof set of prescriptions to start you off on this path:

#1. Fast

Yes, get away from food for a day or two!

Going without food and liquid for at least twelve hours is a great step towards overcoming worries and anxieties, and building a strong faith.

Fasting works huge marvels for your spirit, soul, and body.

Every time you fast, you experience a fresh surge of spiritual and emotional energy, as well as a powerful sense of mental clarity.

These results become even more amplified when your season of fasting is combined with the next step:

#2. Be alone

Yes, get away all by yourself to someplace where you can have uninterrupted solitude for at least 12 hours.

Then shut the rest of the world out! Put off your phone, get off the internet; actually, shut down your electronic and other communications devices.

Solitude, when combined with a fast, works wonders for your mind.

Solitude shuts out the mental and emotional poison and toxins of societal noise; this noise is the fuel that drives fears, doubts, worries, and anxieties.

Solitude is a time of inner renewal. It is one of the greatest and most ancient spiritual secrets of champions.

#3. Meditate on scriptures

The best thing you can do during your time of fasting and solitude is to meditate on scriptures.

When you are fasting, all the energy and attention of your body systems are engaged in detoxifying your body and restoring sound health.

Solitude, on the other hand, shuts out the mental and emotional poison and toxins of societal noise.

When you then begin to meditate on scriptures, on the word of God, it washes your mind from all the filth, and emotional toxins that have been accumulating there.

But the word of God goes beyond that; it builds your faith, renewing your spiritual and physical strength in the process.

These three simple steps are extraordinarily effective spiritual tools to overcome anxieties and enjoy better health, long life, and prosperity.

Freedom From Public Opinion II

The atmosphere in home church this week was that of ideal, child-like brotherly love. Each of us shared the impact of last week’s discussion and acknowledged that it takes God’s help to abide by the precepts therein. We then went deeper in assaying the concept at hand. 

When you free yourself from public opinion – pleasing God at the expense of popularity – you send intense signals to God and the forces of nature. Actually, people’s opinions matter, but only give it its right place; don’t make it your driving force.

As a matter of fact, the opinions of your mentors, leaders, etc, matter a lot, but don’t let it matter more than it should.

If you’re quite close to yourself, and to God, then it’s God and you that know you best!

Christ asked His apostles who people said He was. This was neither to determine His worth nor to pay homage to the public opinion of Him, but only to ascertain whether or not His disciples had the correct perspective of His identity.

To further buttress this, even Bob Marley said, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery…” This includes the slavery of the undue addiction to impress people with your performance, instead of focusing on inner personal excellence. Until you’re able to genuinely pray for others (your colleagues, etc.) to be their best, even if it means their outshining you, before God, you’ll keep oozing the odour of selfishness.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with desiring to be the best and to stay ahead. After all, God promises that you’ll be the head and not the tail. Actually, being the tail and mediocre does not glorify God. But, getting obsessed with being the head is wrong, for this exposes you to manipulations. Christ was so secure He didn’t assume any physical, undue superiority over His apostles that it took a kiss to identify Him!

Insecure hearts get addicted to praise and positions. That’s why they breathlessly crave reassurance that they’re the best.

Develop and renew your mind not to become resentful when your non-superiors are placed above you. Do your best no matter who gets the credit. This attracts God to you. Public credit should never become your driving force.

God bless you.

Live Your Best Life

Home church

Our home church meetings have now become so exciting we just can’t wait for the next one!

This week we registered several testimonies – including that of one of us who got a new job – and couldn’t help commencing with a special segment of praise to God. Then we proceeded to intercessory prayers for our loved ones, and our nation as well.

The theme for our interactive bible study was ‘Live Your Best Life’. We drew inspiration from 1Timothy 6:17 and John 10:10.

The interactive segment was something else; not just in terms of the enthusiasm with the theme, but the fascinating manner in which members made their contribuions.

I had asked the members about their most remarkable actions over the past decade, and so the atmosphere was filled with joy as most members reflected on how their lives have blessed others.
Then I encouraged them not to let their lives be determined by external circumstances. “If you do,” I said, “you will live a sub-standard life, a life God didn’t plan for you.”

I also noted that it is crucial each day to move closer to what we want, and move away fom we you don’t want, knowing that our choices and actions determine the value of our lives.

Afterwards we joined hands and prayed.

As we rehearsed for our song presentation for Sunday, we discussed on the need to walk the narrow path of dedication.

Next week we shall be discussing ‘Take Full Control Of Your Life’.

Stay tuned.

 

Excellence: The Hallmark of Our Service to God

Love and Friendship

I am glad the usually shy amongst us are beginning to settle in at the relaxed, informal atmosphere of our home church; so reminiscent of church in the new testament days.

Only the excellent can serve God

Our discussions this week revolved around a member’s comment that “Only the excellent can serve God.” Bearing in mind that ‘excellence’ is the ID of our particular home church, we eagerly delved into the discussion.

‘Excellence’ means the quality or state of being outstanding and superior. We observed in the first chapter of the book of Daniel, that King Nebuchadnezzar and his officials took extra pains to ensure that only the best entered the King’s service. This is illustrative of what happens around us today, especially in the business world. Companies go for the very best when it comes to selecting employees because they believe this kind of people will give them the greatest return on their investment.

We then asked ourselves "If great people and companies go for excellence, do we imagine that our God – the greatest Being on the planet – would require any less?"

The adjectives used to describe God are usually in the superlative form and evoke images of excellence and distinction. Unfortunately a great number of His people appear not to have grasped this in their service to Him.
We see God in Malachi 1: 6-14 lamenting about the detestable sacrifices of sick and lame animals that the Israelites at that time brought to Him as offerings.

The book of Ephesians 2:10 calls man ‘God’s masterpiece’ that is, the very best of His creation; so our service to Him should not be of any quality short of excellence.

We firmly resolved to give God our very best and live up to our name ‘Excellence Home Church’.

Join us as we go on this pilgrimage on the path of excellence, and see you next week.

P.S : We appreciate all your comments. 🙂

Your Personal Walk with God

It’s so easy to get carried away with events around us that we forget the basic fundamentals like “Your Personal Walk with God”.

Our meeting seemed more like a therapy session. Everyone was expected to tell their stories about their own personal walks with God, the challenges so far and how the challenges can be overcome.

I told them my story about my own personal walk with God.

It was in the 90`s. I was 7 at the time and in church when an altar call was made. I heard the call and alighted to give my life to Christ when I almost stopped. An elderly lady sitting beside where my family was, encouraged me to walk up to the altar. I did and that’s how my own personal walk with God began.

I was so zealous and on fire for the Lord at such a tender age. I was in love with Jesus and HE loved me too.

However, in High School I had some negative experiences – like being punished unnecessarily – that made me resentful to others, and I wondered if God had forgotten everything about me. I battled with the negative emotions for a long time. But as I told members of our home church, the Infinity Home Church, He loved me so much and just wouldn’t let me go.

So, He drew me back to Him – to His words – and the first major effect was deliverance from the negative emotions. I was lifted and began soaring like the eagle.

It has been wonderful since then as the Word of God has worked on my mind, renewing it in the process. I’m totally free!!!

Members were so inspired by the story that they asked for an extension on the subject matter so they can tell their own stories. So, next week, we’ll discuss “Your Personal Walk with God – Part 2”, which promises to edify and uplift our spirits.

Remain in His embrace and have a fruitful weekend.

Enjoy Success without Stress

You no longer have to eat your daily bread from the sweat of your brow!
Your life can become more beautiful, sweeter, and more fulfilling, in spite of all the negativism around you.
There is a peace that God can give you in the midst of life’s most daunting and taunting challenges that enables you to enjoy success without stress.

Download and listen to The Anointing of Ease, and ‘catch’ the power to enjoy more personal success and happiness without unnecessary struggles and sufferings.

You don’t have to struggle and sweat before you begin to enjoy the life of victory and abundance God has promised you.

The inspiration you receive from listening to this audio message will cause you to walk effortlessly through new doors of opportunities and easily succeed where you used to labour in vain.

Those heavy weights of worries, fears, and anxieties will be lifted from your shoulders as you soar to new heights of spiritual strength and inner confidence.

"And you shall be secure {and} feel confident because there is hope; yes, you shall search about you, and you shall take your rest in safety." (Job 11:18).

Wow!
I was literally transformed just meditating on the above scriptures and enjoyed sharing the message and blessing with my radio audience.

Now download and listen to The Anointing of Ease to become inspired to win all of your life’s battles with sweet ease, and receive the grace to enjoy success without stress.
[powerpress]

Giving Gifts That Matter

Royalty Home ChurchA relevant gift is like cold water to a thirsty soul; the receiver blesses the Lord for giving you the wisdom to buy such a gift, and the gift leaves such an impression that years after the gift has been given its still spoken of.

Many are of the opinion that the power of a gift is a matter of how expensive it is, how well packaged it is, and the attitude with which it is given.

Well, in my opinion, the real power of a gift is in its relevance.

Two weeks ago, I was given a gift that touched my soul. Prior to that day all members of our central church were told to present gifts to their home church leaders as part of the Pastor’s Appreciation Day. The home church leaders, in turn, were paired to buy gifts for their supervising pastors.

Because I was part of purchasing a gift for one of the supervising pastors, I decided to find out what the receiver really needed at that point in his life.

You know, sometimes you simply may not know a friend well enough to make an informed decision as to what he or she is longing for at any point in tme.

Well, we were able to find out what he needed most at that moment, which was a big high quality mattress, and pillows to go with it.

Though it was expensive, we made the necessary sacrifices to see to it that he got what he really needed at that point in time, and also to ensure that he would value the gift it as well.

On the other hand, I had no idea as to what gift my home church members were going to present to me! They all kept it secret till it was time for the gift to be presented to me. And they meticulously disguised the gift in a purple polythene bag, which from the outside looked like a well packaged NIV bible! 🙁

When it was brought out, however, to my delight, surprise, and relief, it was an expensive smart phone!

I was overwhelmed, speechless and filled with gratitude, not because of the cost of the phone, but because it was so relevant to me – it was exactly what I needed the most at that point in time.

You see, a few months back, I was robbed of my laptop, two cell phones, and a huge sum of money. Since then I’ve had to go to the cyber cafe whenever I need to make use of the internet, because the replacement phone I had after the robbery incident did not have internet browsing capabilities.

I was so overwhelmed with joy that I couldn’t help displaying the phone throughout that day to all and sundry!

Similarly, the leader of Infinity Home Church – Pastor Anuli – was so touched with the gift given to her that she couldn’t hold back the tears of gratitude.

As for the Supervising Pastor to whom we presented the gigantic mattress with soft pillows to, well, till date he still hasn’t stopped expressing his gratitude to me.

A relevant and timely gift can change someone’s life. The more your gifts are personalised and tailored to satisfy urgent and important needs, the more they will be appreciated and valued.

When presenting a gift ask yourself if you have sufficient information about the receiver to be able to give a gift that meets a need; what are the things that could make that person happy?
It is helpful to invest the time to know more about the receiver so you could easily generate helpful ideas as to what gifts the receiver will definitely appreciate.
If you don’t know, then ask those close to them.

Make sure your gifts are relevant. I believe that one act of kindness sets off another, causing a ripple effect. Make your gifts valuable possessions in other lives.

The Oracle: Your Secret to a Great Life

My sermon yesterday in church was borne out of God’s instruction to me to prophetically negate the effects of the negative conditioning in the mentality of His children.

In this message you will learn that your life’s outcome is not determined by your family background, environment, or any special talents and abilities you may have, but rather by one thing, and one thing only: the oracle.

You will discover the identity of the oracle as well as the secret to unlocking the power therein.

Now, the summary of my message in church yesterday:

The power of the oracle

Your future is not determined by your family background, environment, or any special talents and abilities you may have. Your future is rather determined by one thing, and one thing only: the oracle.

When certain people are born, it is said that the oracle reveals that they are special children with special destinies. Usually, their births are associated with some strange signs and occurrences to cement the proclamation of the oracle.

These people may eventually believe and go on to perform phenomenal feats.

Such was the case with Jeremiah:

"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. "" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

The oracle told Jeremiah first of all that he was known, meaning that he was important and significant. Then the oracle told him that he was set apart, meaning he was special, unique, and unlike anyone else. The oracle also told him he was appointed, meaning that his status was not dependent upon human opinion. And finally the oracle told him he was a prophet – a spokesman for God.

Jeremiah believed the oracle and went on to become one of the greatest prophets of all time. His faith in the oracle lifted him out of obscurity and placed him among the legends of history.

Such is the power of the oracle; turns ordinary men and women into legends.

I will reveal the identity of the oracle shortly, and show you the secret to unlocking the power therein.

But what if before you were born, an ancient and infallible oracle had prophesied that you were a special child, destined for greatness and legendary feats?

Would the awareness of this prophecy have any impact on how you see and feel about yourself? Would this information affect your choices and decisions?

I bet it will.

The oracle isn’t always spectacular

"Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months." (Exodus 2:1-2).

What was so special about Moses? Well, nothing other than the fact that his mum thought he was a fine child!

The woman eventually shared that idea with him, and, obviously, he believed it!

In retrospect, we now know she was acting out of a script written by the oracle for Moses. Yet, she never heard the oracle as Jeremiah did; because the oracle is not always spectacular.

Think about this: as far as we know from the bible, there was nothing spectacular about the birth of Moses, except his mother’s positive bias about him. Nevertheless, Moses became a far greater prophet than most biblical characters whose births were accompanied by angelic visitations and other signs.

Did the oracle speak at his birth?
Yes. But not in the vocal, physically audible and spectacular manner.

The oracle for everyone

According to the oracle, every child born into this world is a special child, destined for great things.

Below is the standard declaration of the oracle for everyone.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

"How precious to me are your thoughts, OF God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you." (Psalms 139:13-18).

The voice of the oracle is not perceived by everyone, because most parents are spiritually blind and deaf.

But if any mum and dad are spiritually attuned to the oracle, they’ll always hear great things pertaining every child that enters this world via their union.

The oracle is the Word of God

And it speaks within the heart of everyone.

So, even if no one ever told you of what the oracle said about you, do not worry because the full prophecy of the oracle was built into your spirit before you came into this world.

You are as specially sent as Jesus Christ!

"Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. "" (John 20:21).

What destiny could be greater than that?

You own everything!

"So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours," (1 Corinthians 3:21).

C’mon! How rich can a man get?

You are an exact replica of Jesus Christ on earth!

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17).

I don’t know what else any oracle can say that can beat all this. I am the Jesus Christ of my time! What destiny can beat that?

Your faith is the key that unlocks the power of the oracle in your life.

It was through faith that Moses’ mum unlocked the special destinies hidden in her children.

"By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict."

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter."

"He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." (Hebrews 11:23-25).

He was driven by that awareness that he was a special child and destined child. That awareness, and his faith, shaped his choices and led him on to legendary status.

If you believe you are special, then you are.

You are not defined by any special talents or abilities, but rather by your faith.

When you believe the truth that you are special, and on this earth for a special divine mission, it opens you up to God. That faith allows God to show up in mysterious ways to create a phenomenal life for you.

That faith increases the density of angels and other supernatural forces around you. This increased density and the resultant intensity of the activities of supernatural forces around you opens up opportunities for achievements beyond anything you could ever imagine.

Mastering the art of timing

I was thrilled by the lovely present that was given to me by my home church members during pastor’s appreciation last Sunday . It was quite an emotional experience, little wonder that the atmosphere during this week’s meeting was charged with intense brotherly love and camaraderie . We had our interactive bible study where we looked at focusing on our strengths part II. Different  dimensions of this unchanging  principle was looked at.

After this we commenced rehearsals for next Sunday’s presentation—a drama titled ‘wasted years’ . .It is a moving  story of a young man who was waiting for his ‘big break’ to come and neglected the apparently small opportunities that came his way. He wakes up 20 years later to realize that he had wasted his years.

It explores the ageless truth that ‘ he that waits for perfect conditions will never make a move’. Most things in life start small so when we disregard the tiny opportunities that come our way, we pay dearly for it. Nature is replete with examples—the giant ostrich starts life as a small egg, the oak tree comes from a tiny acorn. Even Jesus likened the kingdom of God to a mustard seed.

This applies to our pursuits in life- be it talents, skills, family, business. As you take the right steps at the right time, current realities change , bringing  you closer to your dreams. A member noted that the head lamps of a car traveling  at night doesn’t show more than a few feet at a time but still gets the driver to his destination as he moves on.

The meeting came to a close as one of us recited Julius Caesar[Shakespeare 1564-1616]

There’s a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

Omitted all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries’

See you next week.