Jesus is the Lamb of God on the throne, for eternity. The “Lamb” is the servant, the suffering one. If Jesus chose to be the “Lamb” to get his dream—which is you—then how can we think we will fulfill our dreams any other way, other than serving? Servanthood is the best way, the greatest step forward, towards our dreams.
When you know who you are, you look for chances to serve. When you look for chances to rule, that means you don’t yet know who you are and what you carry.
“What I’m looking for are people who will serve the people who matter to me—not just serve me, for their own self-gratification.”
God puts us in positions to learn how to serve with an upright heart in an imperfect world. We always need to learn grace because people’s imperfections will always be part of the equation.
The priests wore linen not wool, because God doesn’t bless sweat. God doesn’t bless our work independent of Him, only dependent on Him.
The gifts of the Spirit function naturally. It’s when we try harder that we tend to mess things up.
You can’t fix a person who’s not in the room.
Bill says, “I make it a policy to not talk about a problem to a person who’s not part of the solution. If a person who is not able to directly influence the person’s life is not in the room, I won’t talk about the person’s problem, because that will just bring us down into deeper judgment.”
…on Worship & Intimacy with God
“If I have an hour to pray, usually 45 minutes of that is worship. You can pray a lot in 15 minutes. This is the percentage I usually base all my prayer time on. Worship is my priority.” We’re not worshiping to get to something. Worship is the whole point.
It’s the ministry of the outer court versus the ministry of the inner court.
“He made me a worshiper that doesn’t even have to try. It’s just the most natural thing I do. Many times throughout the day, I will turn my attention to the Lord. Often I just say, ‘I love you,’ or I’ll say nothing at all.” (Personal note: This reminds me a lot of Pastor Grace’s inner-life teachings. Actually, Bill Johnson reminds me a lot of Pastor Grace in many ways.)
(Bill went to a church conference once to speak about worship, but right before he was going to speak, the conference host asked everyone to pray for people who had sicknesses. No one stretched out their hand to pray for people. So Bill realized he couldn’t teach them what worship was because they didn’t have compassion. He told them, “The Bible says, He desires compassion above sacrifice. I’m not going to teach you about sacrifice (i.e. worship) if you don’t even have compassion.” So he waited until they repented for lack of compassion before he started teaching.) <– that’s conviction!
If you teach people a form of worship but they don’t even have compassion, it’s a violation, because God doesn’t desire a form of sacrifice without relationship and love for people. This sort of “worship” becomes a form of self-gratification. People will become delusional, because they think they are worshipers but their worship is unacceptable.
“I don’t think I’m a good leader but I do a couple things well: affecting the atmosphere and highlighting the key principles. Affecting the atmosphere helps create the right environment that will attract the right people.”
“Sometimes the lessons learned in the journey is worth the failure, so if someone comes up with an idea that I don’t think will work, I don’t find it hard to let them run with it. If the idea ends up working, it just shows me again that I’m not infallible. I’m willing to let them learn from the journey, to come to the end of themselves, and find God.”
“Success to me is hearing God say, ‘Good and faithful servant’ at the end of my life.”
“I don’t measure success by numbers, but by how much I’m affecting people’s lives” = building BIG PEOPLE, not big ministry.
The most difficult part of being a leader is to not take yourself too seriously. Also, be honest. Make sure you’re the same person on the pulpit as you are at home, because your kids will always model after the lowest standard, so keep the same standard. Stay authentic day in and day out.
The hardest part as a leader is when you are misunderstood. It happens more often to me now, especially that I have a higher profile than before. You need to demonstrate forgiveness by praying for the people who misunderstand you.
My greatest responsibility as a leader is to monitor my heart. Psalm 4:23 “Guard you heart above all else…” If you watch what you think, you won’t need to watch what you say. Keep your heart clean, then you can follow it. If you heart gets infected, then you can’t trust it.
Probably the greatest temptation as a high profile speaker is to gravitate towards other high-profile leaders instead of valuing the people God puts in your life around you.
(Bobby Conner’s story about struggling with whether to hang out with other high profile leaders or go speak to the person in the back he felt prompted to go to. He decided to follow his prompting, and the man turned out to be Jesus. Bobby went up to the man and said, “I’m so glad you’re here.” Jesus lifts up his head and says, “I’m glad you’re here… you passed the test.”)
(About his kids) Each personality has a unique “I love you.”
Bill Johnson brought his family everywhere he went to minister, because “I can’t control the price they have to pay for who I am, but I can control the rewards they get for who I am.” When there is reward, you are able to endure the price that comes with it.
“My children taught me how to pray. I don’t think there was any other area that I prayed more about than being a dad and how to raise my kids. Being a father really taught me the father’s heart.”
“When I did something wrong or said something I shouldn’t have said (even if it wasn’t directed towards my children, but they saw it), I would apologize to them and ask them to forgive me. They couldn’t get away with, ‘it’s okay.’ They had to say, ‘I forgive you.’”
You want your kids to succeed. Sometimes they won’t succeed without your help, and sometimes they will succeed with just some encouragement. It takes wisdom and discernment to know what they need to face their fears. You want to create a momentum so they can get their own breakthrough.
(Story of how Bill used to stay with Brian in his room and teach him how to face the tormenting spirits in his nightmares. Then one day he let Brian try it by himself. That was when Brian got his first greatest breakthrough in his walk with God—and he got it by himself, without Bill.)