Bill Johnson… (on certain topics)

…on Serving

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. Continue reading Bill Johnson… (on certain topics)


Eric Johnson… (on certain topics)

…on Submission

Be quick to submit. Learn servanthood.

It’s important for you to learn how to serve someone else’s vision that doesn’t match Bethel’s (or wherever you’re used to) — signs and wonders are not the only expression that God is moving. We often come out of Bethel having a narrow view of what it looks like when God is moving. I want a broader view and idea of what it looks like when God’s moving. The big picture is, all streams merge into a river; the problem is when the stream thinks it’s a river.

Get rid of your agenda the moment you leave school. You might “die”—but Joseph had to die, and Daniel had to die… You must learn to serve someone else’s vision. Both Joseph and Daniel served kings who were, by many standards, evil. They had committed mass murder or genocide and/or declared themselves “god,” forcing people to bow down to their image. Yet, God placed these two men in the perfect positions to influence their leaders, and they both carried a heart attitude to serve their kings well and see them prosper.

Sometimes we just need to say, “I don’t agree with that, but I will serve it and I will submit.” We don’t need to agree to submit. Agreement is not a prerequisite of Submission. God commanded us to submit to our leaders (even imperfect ones… for there are no other types of leaders), so that means choosing to pursue honor and relationship over being “right” and doing things “my way.”

…on Leadership & Feedback

In an environment where there’s a lot of trust, there are more diverse leaders (not just “yes” people). You need to value diversity if you want to be the leader God has called you to be. Trust allows people to speak up. And there’s an understanding that disagreement is not an attack on their character. (Trust is established when there is commitment to one another.)

All the members in Abraham Lincoln’s administration were his opponents in the election.

I meet with a leadership coach 1-2 a year. It’s about developing a Culture of Feedback, from top (your leaders), side (your peers), and below (those you lead). It’s not easy, but there’s value in it. Welcome others to speak into your life.

The hardest areas for feedback are the areas I am the most confident in. I need to learn to “re-translate” their feedback into “they are trying to make me better” instead of “they are wrong,” and try not to get very defensive.

“I have friends and people in my life that I’ll call when I need feedback.” Try to surround yourself with the right people. They may not be a ton, just a couple. Their ages should be varied—not all peers. Don’t just call them when you’re in trouble but also when you’re doing well.

If feedback comes without a context and without understanding the dynamics of the circumstances, then it won’t carry as much weight. But if someone knows what they’re talking about, then the smart thing is to just listen and don’t defend yourself.

Even when you feel misunderstood and insecure, just say “Thank you for your feedback. I’m going to go away and think about it.” I won’t act out of my insecurity.

How to Transition to New Leadership Well:

  1. Clarity.
  2. Communication.

Don’t let time and space get in the way of communication, meaning don’t allow lots of time and space go by without communicating. It’s always better to facilitate clarity with good communication, as soon as possible. This helps the transition process.

Also, if you are transitioning into a new leadership position, don’t try to fill anyone else’s shoes. You have to have your own shoes. Sure, there are similarities but you are unique in your own right. (Just as Eric Johnson’s preaching style may be similar to his dad’s, he is also different and doesn’t feel the pressure to fill his dad’s shoes.)

“Stop trying to be the most talented. Just try to be the most available.” Stop trying to be so serious. Just stop trying so much. Enjoy life. Just be available. Take risk. We are more trained than the disciples were—we have more information than they did, and they changed the world. There’s nothing worse than a cranky, upset Christian. Love life to the fullest. Take major risk. The most powerful thing a leader can do is to display a love for living.

From Eric Johnson’s Q&A session at BSSM second year last week

Gold Nuggets of Leadership: Passion, Perseverance & Purpose

At BSSM, there are two types of classes: General classes that everyone takes together (e.g. Bible, Core Values) and Elective classes (called AMT’s) that are for a smaller class size. For my first semester, I chose to take an AMT called “Preparation for Leadership” taught by Olivia Shupe, who is an author and teacher. She also wrote the book “Renaissance Kids” about raising kids who are equipped and prepared to thrive and not just survive in today’s culture.

I looked forward to each session and probably took seven pages of notes on average during each class. The gold nuggets Shupe shared with us were so precious and relevant that I couldn’t help but try to write down every single word she spoke in class. Today I’d like to share some of these gold nuggets with you! Of course, these are not Shupe’s exact words, but rather a paraphrase of the main ideas, along with some really great quotes, that were shared in this class.

Continue reading Gold Nuggets of Leadership: Passion, Perseverance & Purpose

jesus died for friendship. will you?


Few people realize how much Jesus actually valued friendship. Before he went to the cross, Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:13, There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is an intimate glimpse into the heart of Jesus. As the nails were piercing through his hands and his feet, no doubt, Jesus thought about you and me, he thought about the world he was saving, he thought about those who would believe in him after… but as he hung on the cross, I bet you that Jesus thought about Peter, James and John–his closest disciples, his best friends.

Jesus values friendship. He went to the cross for it.

Can you imagine how heart-wrenching it was for Jesus to learn that Peter would deny him three times? Three and a half years of ‘doing life’ with his disciples, and now one of the ones closest to him, the disciple who confessed that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the Living God–now, Peter, would go on to deny he ever even knew Jesus. Not just once, but three times. That’s a burned bridge if you ever saw one. Most people would consider that a definite end to a relationship.

But for Jesus, there is no end.

After Jesus had risen from the dead, the angels said to the women who came to the tomb, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” The very first thing Jesus was determined to do after his resurrection was show Peter how willing He was to rebuild the bridge with him, i.e. to restore their relationship. That’s how much Jesus values relationship.

Are there any burned bridges in your life?

When it comes to marriage, we’ll often say, “Take counseling. Take classes. Do everything you can. Just don’t get a divorce.” And the same thing when it comes to our relationship with God, “Repent. Pray. Turn around. Just don’t forsake the Lord.” We know it is our responsibility to keep those bridges intact.

Yet, for some reason, when it comes to friendships… it’s okay to burn bridges. “This person offended me. Burn that bridge. This person spoke behind my back. Burn that bridge. This person betrayed me! Really burn that bridge.”

We will spend a whole season of our lives building connection with someone, sharing our deepest secrets, and doing life together. Yet, when something happens that creates a riff between the two of us, we decide to burn the bridge and think we can just press “Reset” with someone new.

Friendships were not meant to last for only a season.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Friendships go way beyond convenience. It’s the decision to say “Yes!” a thousand times over a period of decades that builds wealth in a relationship. It creates depth. Continue reading jesus died for friendship. will you?

kingdom culture (an elaboration)

The Kingdom is a Culture of… 
(These core values are also the lens through which we view life… hence the glasses)


Jesus taught us that the second greatest commandment is this: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. The key is this: You can’t love someone more than you love you. That is, the standard with which you love you is the standard with which you’ll love others.

How does that play out?

We tend not to let others love us more than we love ourselves. When that happens, we start to think, “You wouldn’t love me if you really got to know me, so in order to protect myself from rejection, I’m going to reject you first. I’m going to tell you all the things that are wrong with you, because in reality I’m scared that you’ll discover how unworthy and unloveable that I am.” And we end up sabotaging the relationship.

Also, living in a culture of Love means that you keep love at the center of everything you do.

Love actually looks like something. You can say, “I love you” or “I care about you” all day long, but your actions will be the evidence. For example: love doesn’t look like rude, and love doesn’t look like gossip. There is a visual and tangible aspect of love; and it’s so much more than just an abstract concept.


Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Self-control means you control yourself; you help yourself succeed.

“I am not here to control you but to empower you. I come alongside you and cheer you on, giving you to the keys to help yourself.”

Continue reading kingdom culture (an elaboration)