Leading With Favouritism; Why it Needs to Stop

Favouritism is a word I heard a lot at school, perhaps you did too; but as you’ve grown older you perhaps don’t experience it anymore/much. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not there.

Over the past couple of months a group of guys started attending my youth ministry here in Sandton, Johannesburg. Over a short period of time it came to my knowledge that these guys belonged to a dance group called “Genesis”, so naturally I want to get them up front and give them opportunity. They performed at our “Lip Sync Battle” last year and it was awesome, I saw the thrill and vibe that they created and how pumped it got the youth group.

Without realizing it, I began to favour these gentlemen. How do I know? A few things pointed this out to me:

  1. I always gave them opportunity to serve
  2. I invested time into them and their ideas only
  3. They featured more in our promotional videos and adverts than the other teens
  4. I frequently made time for them, but not so much the other teens

Thankfully I had picked up on it and planned to rectify it before it went on for too long.

My favouritism hadn’t yet become outwardly visible to the youth group, as far as I know, but one of my leaders had picked it up and she gently explained why it appeared that I was showing favouritism; to which I explained why I agree with her and that I had picked up on it and had a plan in mind to avoid it.

Why is it Harmful?

1. It isn’t biblical

The moment we pick up that something isn’t biblical; we should see red flags and stop-signs.
In Luke 9 the disciples were arguing about which of them was the greatest, knowing this Jesus immediately stepped in and took control of the situation. He went on to say in vs. 48: “For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (NIV).

We as leaders need to constantly remember this and remind ourselves of this: No one in our ministry is greater than another. No one in our ministry is more important than another, more talented than another, of less value than another. They (we) all need Jesus and all need mentorship, love, care and opportunity.

2. It undermines the Value of others in the ministry

When Favouritism becomes evident, people within your ministry begin to feel undervalued. They may not want to share ideas with you anymore or even want to share what they are struggling with because they feel you no longer have time for them.

There may be some within your ministry or leadership who are burning with the desire to share their idea/vision with you, but you are too busy with another group of people to notice them and hear them out, and you may therefore be missing out on the opportunity to start something incredible, but more importantly, you are definitely  missing out on the opportunity to make that person feel like they are a part of that ministry.

3. It suffocates the ministry

As they feel less appreciated and undervalued, people no longer feel they are needed, and no longer want to serve. Should they attend another church where they feel appreciated and valued, you will almost certainly lose them and as a result over time your ministry will fall through and you will be left with just the handful of people that you favoured.

4. It takes away ministry opportunity

As much as you will be ministering to and caring for that person/group of people, you will be missing the opportunity to minister to the other people within that ministry.

Looking back on my involvement in church work, I see how much time I spent with people, listening to, sharing, and discussing ideas. That time spent was priceless and I grew closer to those people in building up those events/ideas. People want to feel and be heard and when they are, they feel more “part of” rather than “attendee”.

How to Avoid showing Favoritism

1. Listen

People just want to be heard and want to be a part of the ministry. We have a saying that we’ve drilled (not literally) into the heads of the teenagers here at our Youth Group: Youth Ministry is when the YOUTH do the ministry. So when they come to me with an idea, even if it sounds silly or ridiculous, I listen anyway and force myself to consider it even if it is crazy.

If the idea is “stupid” or crazy, that’s fine, but don’t reject it completely. This person has been bold enough to share their idea, and how you receive it will determine how much they share in the future. This is your opportunity to guide them and work alongside them in their ministry.

2. Make room in many areas

What do I mean by this? I mean not everyone is musically inclined or a good reader, or good at designing cool posters, but they’re brilliant when it comes to sound and tech management, so get them involved in the multimedia side of the ministry.

Try and create a ministry that caters for all types of people: The extroverted, introverted, arty, sporty, academic, hands on and every other kind of person you can think of.

3. Be Intentional

Be intentional when it comes to involving everyone. If you feel that some people may be feeling left out or aren’t as involved, be intentional about chatting to them and finding out what their thoughts and ideas for the ministry are. Be intentional about asking them about their interests and where they would like to get involved. Your pro-active attitude in this area will be more appreciated than you think.

 

At the end of Matthew, Jesus leaves His disciples with the command to go and make disciples of all Nations/ethnicity’s (If you’d like). Jesus is saying go and make disciples of all peoples and by showing favouritism we go against this command. Part of making disciples of all nations is receiving and loving all people; regardless of how we may see them or how the people in our ministry see them.

Some people’s ideas may be better than others, but everyone has an equal role to play in God’s church and in His mission, so don’t damage that by favouring one person over another.

 

I hope you found this encouraging, challenging, and thought provoking. Feel free to comment your thoughts and questions.

Give me a follow on WordPress and subscribe to the email notifications. 

Follow me on instagram: @jason_devenish 
Catch me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jason-Devenish-PAGE-468884426631826/

 

God bless

 

My biggest problem with people Of The Christian faith

jasondevenish

image

Ok,so i know this seems rather weird, coming from me; a christian, a worker in the church, but I started this blog page so that I could freely express how I felt and what is bugging me, hoping I could use how I’m feeling to encourage anyone who reads this. My point is that, if I offend you, I really don’t mind, in fact I enjoy offending people; and getting a reaction, this also gives you something to think about.

So let’s get into what I actually want to talk about; feel free to comment afterwards :).

So let me expand on my rather harsh* and yet open title for this peice. My biggest problem/issue with the people of the christian faith is that they/ we try so hard to portray this “perfect”vibe. For a long time I thnought this view was just me until yesterday when I spoke to…

View original post 555 more words

The Church is FULL of cliques, and its DISGUSTING!!!

image

You heard me!!! Its disgusting! Its NONSENSE!  Why is it like this!!??

I’ve been to many churches and church related events, and 90% of the time I leave there thinking “I didn’t feel 100% welcome or accepted”, and i don’t think this is cool, especially when most of the pastors get up and say “we accept you as you are :)” – and i just sit there and think “yeap you accept me into your building but not necessarily into your church”.

A mate and myself went to visit a church this past weekend,  and do you know what? Not one person came and greeted us and made us feel welcome. Because we were visitors we were allowed a free cappuccino, well I guess that makes it all okay right? OF COURSE NOT!!! I can only imagine the amount of lost, lonely and hurt people who have wondered in there looking for…something,  something that says love, community and friendship. Something that gives them just a glimer of what Heaven would look like. Something that would show them what it feels like to be accepted, something that shows them, how Jesus…would accept them, and its just not happening. It breaks my heart to see this.

I wonder what Jesus would do if He walked into a church that was full of cliques, He’d start whipping things and overturning tables and stuff I DON’T KNOW!!! But I’m close to doing something like that, I just want to walk in and if I see it I’ll flip out and call it righteous anger…im kidding. But this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

So now im asking,  no I’M BEGGING churches to please stop with the cliques. Go and greet someone if they’re new, so what if you’re a shy person,  get out of your comfort zone and GO! You could change a life.

I know that this article probably won’t make a difference,  most people within a “clique” don’t even know that they’re in one, and even if you told them they were they’d deny it. I just have to keep telling myself that I’m living in a fallen world, dealing with sinners, like myself, I can’t expect too much of them.

Let me know your thoughts.

God bless

Jason Devenish

My biggest problem with people Of The Christian faith

image

Ok,so i know this seems rather weird, coming from me; a christian,  a worker in the church, but I started this blog page so that I could freely express how I felt and what is bugging me, hoping I could use how I’m feeling to encourage anyone who reads this. My point is that, if I offend you, I really don’t mind, in fact I enjoy offending people; and getting a reaction, this also gives you something to think about.

So let’s get into what I actually want to talk about; feel free to comment afterwards :).

So let me expand on my rather harsh* and yet open title for this peice. My biggest problem/issue with the people of the christian faith is that they/ we try so hard to portray this “perfect”vibe. For a long time I thnought this view was just me until yesterday when I spoke to a good mate of mine who expressed that he felt the same and had this same issue/struggle with the general christian “movement”. I was ofcourse very encouraged and moved by this-Thanks Nate Ellis.

Now why is this an issue for me?
I’ll tell you why. When Jesus was here on earth, nowhere did He say,”make people believe and think that you’re perfect”or “pretend that you’re perfect”. So why do they pretend? Don’t pretend to be perfect and then expect people to open up to you mate, no one wants to share their flaws with someone who comes across as perfect. Not only that, but its also extremely hypocritical and is not true to what the message the gospel conveys; that being that Christ came so that the broken* may be healed, those who are imperfect, may be made perfect, through* Christ. Not perfect by how well you pretend to be perfect, so STOP!

It is time that the church started being as real as Jesus is, because it is through our imperfection, that Jesus’ perfection shines most brightly.

I, as a christian, feel more comfortable sharing my flaws , struggles and challenges with non-christians rather than with christians. Why? Because they won’t make me feel like absolute crap-yes I said that, shut up. I am actually infuriated by this sad fact, that I can’t share my everyday difficulties with my family in Christ, purely because I may lose my job or be pulled out of doing things/serving in areas I love all because I felt judged and/or left out by someone who is just as screwed up/if not more screwed up than me.

To all non-christians out there; we don’t all think we’re perfect, some of us know we aren’t perfect, and we know that we aren’t “better” than you.

It you are a christian reading this and you’re offended, then clearly you have something to think about, perhaps that’s the holy Spirit convicting you? Its never too late to change:). Please note that I am not encouraging sin / sinful behaviour, but I am asking you,  no! I’m pleading with you to stop pretending to be perfect, show people that you aren’t.
In Matthew 9:12-13 we see Jesus say something truly beautiful : “On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I personally find this to be one of my most encouraging passages to read.

Remember: It’s not how christian you look on the outside, but rather, it’s about your personal relationship with God ❤ 🙂

So to wrap up:
→ Christian, stop pretending to be perfect.
→ Be real with Jesus, and as a result you'll be real with people. You are not perfect and you never will be (on your own). But with and through Jesus and ONLY Jesus, you can be made perfect, if you trust in Him and have a real* RELATIONSHIP with Him
→ Love people for who they are and not for who you want them to be, this will make you more approachable, and as a result we will see a tighter unity and willingness to be open within the church.

No one is righteous, none but Jesus Christ.

Feel free to comment

God Bless
Jason

The Church is FULL of cliques, and its DISGUSTING!!!

image

You heard me!!! Its disgusting! Its NONSENSE!  Why is it like this!!??

I’ve been to many churches and church related events, and 90% of the time I leave there thinking “I didn’t feel 100% welcome or accepted”, and i don’t think this is cool, especially when most of the pastors get up and say “we accept you as you are :)” – and i just sit there and think “yeap you accept me into your building but not necessarily into your church”.

A mate and myself went to visit a church this past weekend,  and do you know what? Not one person came and greeted us and made us feel welcome. Because we were visitors we were allowed a free cappuccino, well I guess that makes it all okay right? OF COURSE NOT!!! I can only imagine the amount of lost, lonely and hurt people who have wondered in there looking for…something,  something that says love, community and friendship. Something that gives them just a glimer of what Heaven would look like. Something that would show them what it feels like to be accepted, something that shows them, how Jesus…would accept them, and its just not happening. It breaks my heart to see this.

I wonder what Jesus would do if He walked into a church that was full of cliques, He’d start whipping things and overturning tables and stuff I DON’T KNOW!!! But I’m close to doing something like that, I just want to walk in and if I see it I’ll flip out and call it righteous anger…im kidding. But this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

So now im asking,  no I’M BEGGING churches to please stop with the cliques. Go and greet someone if they’re new, so what if you’re a shy person,  get out of your comfort zone and GO! You could change a life.

I know that this article probably won’t make a difference,  most people within a “clique” don’t even know that they’re in one, and even if you told them they were they’d deny it. I just have to keep telling myself that I’m living in a fallen world, dealing with sinners, like myself, I can’t expect too much of them.

Let me know your thoughts.

God bless
Jason Devenish

Prayer: One of The most lethal, yet least used spiritual weapons

image

Well i think the title of the article hits the nail on the head really.

In speaking to my friends over the past couple of months I’ve come to see a common problem /difficulty within all our walks with Christ-we dont PRAY ENOUGH!!!

Usually when I’m having a hard time emotionally or I’m  struggling to deal with certain issues in my life I start to wonder why…and then I “click”. “You haven’t spoken to Jesus about this.” I say to myself.

My prayer life used to be really healthy and evident,  I’m not actually sure why that changed. I had friends who used to get so frustrated with me because i hadn’t told them what I’m going through,  but i never felt the need to as i had already addressed it with God and gotten it off my chest, I do wish it was still like this.

But why do we struggle with prayer? Why is prayer one of the last things we do when we’re struggling?  How many times in the bible do we see Jesus going offto pray, either alone or with His disciples!? Yet we do that last. WHY!!!???

When I’m trying to encourage one of my mates through a difficulty, I ask them if they’ve  prayed and 9 times out of 10 the answer is along the lines of “no i actually didn’t think about this”. Now don’t think im saying its only a select few, i heard how my ex youth pastor forgot to pray about something that is extremely crucial in his life at the moment,  i mean he’s been a growing Christian for over 10 years now and he still forgets,  so do I, and many Christians.  The point of this article isn’t necessarily to point out the issue in almost every Christians life here, but more to ask WHY don’t we use this more often? And to encourage people to use it more often.

To end, i think we don’t use it because we feel odd at times doing it, just speaking into air and getting no response (verbally)can make it feel like a weak and depressing task, yet Jesus did this when He felt weakest,  like the time just before He was taken to be crucified,  He was praying,  pouring out His heart to His Father in heaven. I want to be like that ❤ don't you?

I want to encourage all those who read this, to think about this constantly and to remind yourselves to keep pouring out your hearts to your Father in heaven. Because He cares about YOU and LOVES YOU. And He wants to hear from you more often.

Feel free to drop a comment 🙂

God bless

Jason Devenish

Do I REALLY need to read the bible? :/ Isn’t church enough?

Bible-dust-read-me

Well the answer to this is pretty simple….YES YOU DO!!! 😀 But the real question that follows is this: WHY do I need to read the bible?

Now when I was much younger I thought that it was a command of God in the bible that said: “You MUST read the bible every day, or you will not be a Christian/child of God(However you wish to phrase it)” but…this isn’t necessarily the case.

Think about your best friend. How do you guys communicate? WhatsApp? Facebook? BBM?(Probably not the last but yeah haha). How do you know whats going on in their life and how do they know whats going on in your life? Yes Facebook, Instagram and all these other platforms help inform you but, considering you’re best friends, I assume you guys see one another pretty often. My best mate and I are pretty inseparable, when people see me without him they ask if he’s okay haha. But…how can you then say you love Jesus, and that you are a christian (Which by definition is a follower of Jesus, someone who is a disciple of Jesus and someone who is in a fruitful, growing relationship with Him) and not spend time with Him? See prayer is how you speak to Him, and He speaks to you through His word.

“But Jason I do pray!!!” you say…okay. Stop seeing your friend for a week, and tell them to turn off their data. Send them a whatsapp explaining all that you are going through, and when they don’t respond…get upset with them, because that’s what is happening here, except here Jesus hasn’t “turned off His data”, you’ve done that for Him, and when you don’t get an answer, you get frustrated with Him. I don’t think that’s very fair?

Jesus does want you, and He wants to talk to YOU, but YOU need to open up HIS word, and be willing to listen. The bible is so crucial to the daily walk of any Christian. When I stop reading the bible, it’s like i lose perspective, I lose myself and I kind of lose control of myself and almost everything.

I once saw a quote that said: “Spending time with God puts everything into perspective”, and it’s so true. Psalm 119:105-“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet” right?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says : “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”. That’s a pretty powerful statement i think.

Feel free to post your thoughts, even if you disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😀

God bless

Jason Devenish