Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We're All Excons!

Dan Stevers can clearly be seen as a leading minister. Really though, he's not a Charles Stanley, Rick Warren or T.D. Jakes. No, you may not see him directly picking up a microphone speaking/preaching to hundreds at your next leadership conference. Nor will you hear melodious worship come from his vocals in song on your city's leading Gospel or contemporary Christian music (CCM) radio station. He's not some recognized television or radio preacher with a massive church attendance of 1,000s. But Dan is still definitely a minister, a leading one at that.

He ministers in multiple churches, conferences and events without ever stepping one foot in their buildings. He's ministering even now, all over the world. Simply put, Dan Stevers is a Christian video maker with astonding production skills. Some refer to him as, "a stunning visual effects artist." Many have been passionately touched, strongly impacted, and even truly saved by his videos---in other words, ministered to. 

One of his latest works is a video clip called The Cell. It captures the inner struggle we all face in relation to the stronghold of sin. Yes, I understand that Jesus has made us free from sin's power.

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36) NKJV

But the devil (that's right; the devil) doesn't want you to accept that freedom, the freedom that is indeed and definite. The freedom that gives you another option, a way out from sin. You don't have to stay in your prison cell; I don't have to stay in mine. We can both come out from the cells of addiction, lying, homosexuality, greed, hatred, jealousy, rage, depression, pornography, doubt, fear, and any other bondage.

"We're all bond by something, and we are all prisoners. But God is pushing for all of us to become excons."

Like the board game Monopoly, we all have a get-out-of-jail-free card which is offered to us. But we must go before God to receive it, and continually follow His lead to properly use it---staying out of jail. Surprisingly, even if we happen to go back in, the offer still stands.

Stevers' video above will show the ministry of this scenario in a clearer depiction. Check it out...

Also, check his entire ministry out at this link: http://www.danstevers.com/ 

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Picture's Worth...!

Many of us have often heard the phrase, "A picture's worth 1,000 words." Famed comedic director, writer and actor Eddie Murphy stars in A Thousand Words which is a film that trys to express this phrase in movie form. The plot is based on Murphy only being able to speak 1,000 words before his untimely death.

"Some may not know the vast significance of that statement..."

But here are some photos that may explain that sentiment in a more obvious manner, one that film may not be able to properly express. There are 7 pictures below that may get you thinking more sharply about what you tend to see displayed before you.

See if you can guess all of their hidden meanings:


1.) AMERICA---an Honorable Superpower?
2.) Kicking the Bucket
3.) Less is More
4.) Read Between the Lines of a Life
5.) Jihad doesn't Save the Children
6.) The Prosperity Gospel
7.) Let's Build a Vision Together

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jeremy Who?

By now, anyone with a computer, smart phone, televison, radio, newspaper or sports pulse should know about point guard Jeremy Lin. Tonight, he received a rude awakening. He had a dismal basketball performance against the Miami Heat, my hometown team. He went 1 for 11 shooting and had 8 points in the game, only just 2 points the entire first half. 

Some may ask, "What happened?" Simply put, LINSANITY was shut down! A defense-savvy team like the Heat wasn't having it, not on their home court. His pattern down the court was missed shot, blocked shot and turn over, for 4 action-packed quarters.

Now, to be fair, Jeremy Lin is a pretty decent basketball player. I would even go as far to say, "He's pretty good!" But let's not over-do-it. To date, his competition, outside of 3 games, (LA, Dallas & Miami) wasn't that stellar. These upcoming games will test him like never before, with much harder competition.

But this blog post is NOT about Jeremy Lin the basketball player; it's about Jeremy the person. During his recent rise to fame, Jeremy has stunned the media world with his character:

"Genuine Godly humilty was something highlighted instead of selfish pride."

Jeremy has no problem seriously honoring Jesus Christ, even at the apex of his fame. Many have even discouraged him from being so fanatical with his faith in God, but he still keeps on lifting up the name of Jesus, anyway. And this stout boldness is shown even in an area like New York City; a place that doesn't necessarily pride itself on evangelical Christianity.

If you were paying the slightest attention to the National Football League (NFL) recently, heading into the playoffs, you would have said, "It seems like I've seen this story before, haven't I?" Yes, this looks extremely similar to the Tim Tebow saga in Denver. Another athlete who surprised the sports world with his uncanny ability in clutch time, on a pro-level. It's also no surprise that Jeremy's favorite athlete is Tim Tebow, not even a former basketball legend like Jordan, Bird or Magic.

Jeremy is so impressed with Tim's passion for his sport, but he's overwhelmingly taken in by Tim's unashamed passion for Jesus. As a Christian, even if you're not a Broncos or Knicks fan; you should consider championing these 2 athletes because you're a Jesus fan. All they're doing is constantly shining selflessly, being a strong testimony to the sports world and the culture at large.  

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) NIV

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

They Really, Really...Like Me!

Unfortunately, there's going to be those 10 people that can't stand you. The 8 individuals who wished you'd just shut up. Those 5 critics who usually speak about you in a negative light. And the 1 friend or family member who would rather not hear about Jesus, especially from you.

"Likability is overrated!"

Let's face it; people just don't want to hear the truth, even the tactful, loving and gentle truth. But they would prefer, "Just tell me what I want to hear...and be done with it! Or, if you entertain me a lot; I might come back to hear more!" Many churches today have very selective audiences that rarely want to be challenged. So don't be surprised or become shocked when everyone doesn't love you. When they could care less about what you're telling them, no matter how life transforming it may be.

Speak the Word boldly, obey God and be the best you that you can be. People are responsible for their own actions; what they choose to or not to believe is their decision. So if they intentionally choose POOR DECISIONS after hearing truth, that's on them not you. Don't always feel like people are rejecting you when they're actually rejecting God. Remember, God is the One keeping score.

"Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God." (1 John 3:19) NLT

Pastor, Christian leader or Jesus follower your confidence shouldn't rely on people but rather on God. So instead of focusing on the hand few of people that rejected you; your attention can be more focused on the many that didn't. The ones that are being truly ministered to by the voice of God. The ones who are having their minds renewed, hearts touched. Keep letting God use you for His glory, not yours

Again, everyone doesn't love you! And everyone doesn't like you! Matter of fact, everyone doesn't even care for God! Let's realize that on a continual basis and stay away from approval addiction. A great sign of a growing follower or good leader is when they fully start to understand:

"Life doesn't revolve around me!"

Joyce Meyer's book Approval Addiction brings many of these points home. Check it out here:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Continual Mimicking

mimicking - present participle of mim·ic (Verb)Verb:

1. Imitate (someone or their actions or words), typically in order to entertain or ridicule.

2. (of an animal or plant) Resemble or imitate (another animal or plant), esp. to deter predators or for camouflage.

Merriman- Webster has defined mimicking by the definitions above. And it's often been said, "Mimicking isn't nice!" When a child makes fun of another child; we won't them to stop, stop immediately! Cruel jokes do absolutely nothing but hurt individuals and seemingly reveal just how cold children can be. The old adage is "Hurting people hurt people." It's just that simple. "And healed people usually heal people." Not to mention the fact, there are a lot of angry and hurting children in this world.

While observing some of these dynamics in the classroom, while enrolled in a Practicum program. I began to notice how the ridicule changed the student's entire day. What's more, it even distorted their attitude and perspective on life.

I child interested in behaving politely and eagerly participating in class, all of a sudden was no longer interested. They went from model student one hour, to joining in with the class clown the next hour. They went from excited about learning one moment, to silence and depression moments later. All of this was simply started from mimicking behavior.

Well, this is not just a problem with children in grade school. This is also an issue with adults in the school of life. They want to be accepted and achieve great things, not made fun of. Even Christian adults take it a step further. They want to serve God faithfully, love Him passionately and represent Him rightly.

But here comes the the devil with his continual mimicking: "Who do you think you are, trying to live for God? What nerve of you seeking to walk in love all day long, having a good attitude... Here, look at these bills, your weight and all the other individuals doing better than you. You should look pitiful and be depressed, instead of happy! You should just check out mentally from your loved ones, focusing on your selfish wants and desires. Life's a party, drink it up. Again, why are you following Jesus, He's not really helping you with your problems? Christianity is nothing but a waste of time."

Instead of listening to his continual mimicking words, try operating in your own version of continual mimicking and mimic Jesus. Copy His attributes for living, attitude for dealing with problems and resolve in choosing to tune out the enemy's voice. Live life for God's purpose, regardless of anything telling you not to. Change your perspective and follow Jesus' influence, not the devil's. The video above is a scene from the hit film Real Steel. It'll give a much better depiction of what I'm implying.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

1-Hour Before Counting Sheep

When individuals who are new to the Christian faith attend church services that are evangelistic in nature (mostly preaching salvation messages), they become overwhelmed as it relates to growth (Spiritual formation & Christian disciplines). However, when individuals who are new to the Christian faith attend church services that are growth-related in nature, they become overwhelmed as it relates to evangelism.

Some note this delimma as being a Q&Q (quality & quantity issue). As it relates to evangelism and church disciplines combined, many Christian leaders stress quality over quantity. But in certain aspects, this is not always the case. Like for prayer and fasting, it's all about quality. But for the tithe (giving) and souls (salvation), quantity becomes the rule-of-thumb to follow after.

So what is it? Is it all about quaility? Or should our concern be solely focused on quantity?

Well, a proper balance between both of them should be the healthy solution. And it can be clearly summed up in the concept: "1-hour before counting sheep."

"Mark, have you losted it? What kind of concept is that? What does counting sheep have to do with a proper balance?" Actually, they matter more than you know! It's all spelled out in Matthew 26:36-46.

After revealing to His followers the sacrificial elements of His death, Jesus informed His disciples that He would be betrayed and die. This vital information must have went over their heads because they didn't understand His urgency. So He then took Peter, James and John away with Him and told them bluntly what He was feeling. He was looking for their support!

36) Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37) And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38) Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

Unfortunately, they didn't get it. Not to mention, they were exhausted from all the endeavors of that day and were more concerned with handling this matter in the morning, after a good night of sleep. They could of thought, "He's just praying. He always comes here to pray while in this particular city."

Jesus went on ahead and prayed, even without their support, this famous prayer:

39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

But we need to pay close attention to what happened next!

40) Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, What! Could you not watch with Me ONE HOUR? 41) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

In the remaining 5 verses, Jesus repeated this process two more times and was then betrayed by Judas. Now, we may ask, "What was up with the disciples? Also, what was up with Jesus' harsh rebuke? And what was even up with the repetition of the prayer?"

The interesting thing that was up with all of that was a proper balance between quality and quantity. Note, it wasn't quality over quantity or vice versa. Jesus wanted the quality of their support at a daunting time, along with the quantity of having it for a full and explosively powerful hour. The disciples could have showed quantity and stayed awake, giving little to no supporting prayer interest into Jesus' ordeal. Or worse, they could've done what they actually did: They gave some minutes (possibly even upto 30 or so) of explosively fervent prayer support, eventually fading off at the end into counting sheep as they slept soundly. No, both were needed (quality & quantity)!

Jesus didn't just want their maximum TIME, but He wanted their maximum EFFORT as well!
Let's learn from their lesson and allow the willingness of our spirit to do the leading, not our flesh. I assure you; it'll make a world of difference!   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

JESUS: "Bad for Business...?"

What are churches here for? "Churches are here to minister to people, right? Maybe, they're here to reach the lost for salvation? Okay, I got it; they're here to feed the poor and house the homeless, right?" Unfortunately, many of today's local churches are more focused on big business, like a McDonald's or Wal-Mart (going after that 'almighty dollar')! "What? Mark, no way, churches could care less about big business." I wish I was wrong, but sadly it's true.

Before I go on any further; note, I love the church and am a grateful member of it. I've been involved in church ministry for nearly 20 years, highly involved in some leading churches/Christian organizations and see how far we've came. But also I'm not blind to much of what today's church has leaned toward following after. Let me give you some examples:

The McChurch Movement

Charles Colson's 1994 book The Body, which describes a McChurch that the author attended in Japan. The author also uses the term "Hot Tub Religion" to express the same sentiment.

Dan Schaeffer's article "McChurch" in the 2002 issue of the Christian-themed Plain Truth Magazine. Schaeffer states that many Christian churches have "gone Las Vegas" in order to grow their congregations.

Maine State Representative Stan Moody's 2006 book McChurched which describes a pervasive consumerism in the evangelical Christian community. Moody, a Democrat, attributes this sentiment to the incorporation of Republican pro-capitalist influence into the religious community.

The CEO Movement

Megachurches tend to have a powerful charismatic leader. They tend to be centralized, concentrating authority at the top. The founders’ tenures average over fifteen years and there is great dependence on their personalities. These leaders preside over large staffs of up to 250 full-time employees. The pastor of one mega-church had the following to say about the organizational structure of these mammoth churches, These are not just churches; they are also corporations.” The pastors of many of these huge churches consider themselves CEOs. ("Multiplying in the Megachurch?"). Crossbooks.com. 2011-09-29. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1462706703/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk.)

Megachurch services tend to be highly choreographed and music features prominently in services. "Given the congregation’s size, this service cannot be left to ‘the flow of the spirit,’ especially if there are multiple services on a Sunday morning …As a mega-church grows, worship becomes more professional and polished, but also more planned and structured.” ("Exploring the Megachurch Phenomena: Their characteristics and cultural context").  

The Seeker-friendly Movement

A common criticism of megachurches is that they draw members away from other churches. This has led to use of the derisive term, "big box churches". From a National Congregations Study from Cumalative Dataset, the majority of North American church-goers attend small churches of fewer than 200 members.

Critics of megachurches claim that such churches are more concerned with entertainment than religion (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2006/sep/17/long-reach-of-a-big-church/). Al Sharpton has claimed that such churches focus on personal morality issues while ignoring social justice.

Businessweek reported---Critics have also raised issues with the application of secular business models, e.g., from Wal-Mart; a seeker-friendly approach, intensive market research, heavy reliance upon opinion polls, polished advertising targeted at affluent young professionals, unconventional worship styles and Eastern influences. ("Earthly Empire:How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook")-Business Week.

Goodness, that was a mouthful! It's clear to see that the McChurch, CEO and seeker-friendly approaches have business written all over them. So when did the local church become a business? When did things become all about appeasing clientele, establishing corporations, adjusting profit-margins and recruiting numbers?

Now, I do realize, there is a balance to this equation. No one is indicating to not prepare for growth. Or, a church can't offset their fiscal woes with sound business practices. Just take out time to check out the many leading universities, prep-schools, charities, hospitals and (dare I say) businesses started and still run by churches. And many of these are doing a greater good for the nation and world as a whole. But still there just may be too much of a business focus implied. When we become more concerned about building our local church empire instead of surrendering to the Holy Spirit's leading, that's a problem!

God didn't call us to manipulate numbers, become advertising salesmen for our local church or sweet-talk new recruits into joining the ranks. Really, it's NOT about us (period). The sooner we get that, the better! Let me leave you with a last thought based on some Biblical approaches. (Mark 11:15-19, Luke 8:43-48, Acts 16:16-24) in each one of these scenarios, Jesus was bad for business. And He didn't mind business practices, until it started to become the primary focus. Keep business where it belongs, solely in the background and not leading the ministry God has so preciously graced you with.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Cockamamie" Church Careers

Church for most in this nation is a way of life. States like Texas, California, Florida, Michigan and Illinois are filled with them. City church buildings are mega-sized and located nearly on every corner. I reside in one of the fastest growing cities in the nation for megachurch growth---Atlanta, Georgia. This is one of the places where it's common to observe individuals strolling back-and-forth to a large local church building  (5,000+ in attendance on average). Many are state-of-the-art with intricate design, satellite campuses and multimedia platforms.

So what is it that really goes on in these religious megaplexes? What has everyone's attention so wrapped up? Some would say, "Well, it's the preaching! No, others would reply that it's the band-styled music and casual feel. And even others would highlight that it's all about the free coffee plus friendly environment." With all these statements come job descriptions. Preachers, bands and coffee attendants are here to serve, and I mean serve often. I'm talking about roles treated almost like budding careers. Even though one is only volunteering, it's like you're actually clocking in.

One has to be there not just on time but early and is advised to clean up, leaving late. Departmental meetings must be attended. There are literal job training seminars in the form of leadership development forums. Excellence is demanded and numbers growth is promoted. This is a cycle that goes on for years, every week. After a while in one field, you can transition to another. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a career to me. Some with pay and others with no pay. But should the local church be about making (in-house) careers for nearly everyone involved, similar to a major business? Or is much of this to be viewed as a bit cockamamie (decalcomania).

Here are some real life careers that are hard to believe:

Vacation Specialist
Dog Wig Designer
Professional Ant Picker
Underwear/Hand Model
Video Game Life Coach
Celebrity Umbrella Holder
Cat Psychic
Luxury Fountain Pen Repairer

I realize many of these sound bizarre, and are truly cockamamie. And I didn't even bother mentioning the six figure salary careers of Pet Detective, Food Critic and Gossip Columnist. But is today's local church so different, or so much the same.

Try these on for size:

Director of Fulfillment
Athletics Director
Executive Pastor
Mother of the Church
Parking Lot Director
Armor bearer
Donut/Coffee Manager

Now, no one is opposing these positions and saying, "Hurry up and get those roles out of your local church!" But it's clear to note that many individuals may be better resourced in truly doing work that Jesus desired for us. For that matter, most churches can take another look into seeing what God was more focused on the local church being about as it relates to kingdom labor. And the idea of cockamamie careers probably aren't at the top of the list, or even on His list at all. Again, no one is opposing these positions, just opening church leaders up to a different perspective of reevaluation for resourcing their people. If MOST of what a church leader focuses on being done is only limited to the four-walls of their church, that just may NOT be the greatest focus. People are lost, hurting and dying daily. And get this, they may never step foot in your local church building. How can you reach them, when they're right in your budding city or right outside your door? Church leaders need to know "There's so much MORE God desires of them as leaders who represent Him!"  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TRENDWATCHING: "Stellar Worship Services"

As we conclude this short mini-series on "Trendwatching" it is only fitting to inform you, trends aren't always bad. But the church has to realize we shouldn't automatically assume, they're always good, either. Ultimately, God should be the primary one directing a local church and the international church body as a whole, not mankind. In addition, ideas and concepts are good when filtered through God's direction. Too often, we ignore the Godly filtration, being more concerned with enjoying worship service on a grandiose scale. 

If it's working massively for someone else's ministry; that's no outright correlation that it'll work the same for yours. One of the more widely-known areas where this can be easily seen is in "worship services." All of a sudden, worship services have to be "stellar." They have to become super-impressive and copycat trends of the latest and most fanciest Sunday services of our day. Here are 5 things that'll explain better what I mean:

Cutting-edge Multimedia Presentations

Stellar worship services must now be filled with cutting-edge interactive multimedia. These presentations must be grandiose and eye-catching. So for the smaller local church who can't afford these; they feel left out and ineffective in competing to retain visiting guests. Because the guests want to see technology galore: flashing lights, smoke, animation, elite graphics, high-definition visual effects and so on. Wow, what a display! It's all well and dandy to have a million-dollar multimedia setup. But it is not necessary for an impactful worship service. "But, Mark...you need to wake up...we're in the 21st century. This is how things go!" And again, I would respond, "but, it's not necessary! It's nice but not needed." If a local church can afford it without going nearly broke, demanding multiple sacrificial offerings to foot the bill, then go for it. But God can do more, even today, without all the theatrics. There's ONLY 1 thing needful, and Jesus believed that was Him and His message (Luke 10:38-42). Just like the scripture, individuals can become so distracted by their serving and stellar presentations; that they lose sight of God Himself.

Perfect Sounding Boards

Stellar worship services must now be controlled by perfect sounding boards. The sound has to be crisp and delightful. We should be able to hear a pin drop in the room. And of course, top-notch microphones, keyboards, drums, and guitars must be used in conjunction with the sound board. Monitors and speakers must be so in sync that guests, attenders and members feel like they're at an IMAX theater. Wow, what an experience! Again, none of this is truly necessary. It's nice but not needed. The Bible is clear that Jesus and the apostles spoke to multitudes of people at a time, thousands. Surprisingly, there were no sounding boards and they heard what was said. The people were more interested in what was being said more than how crisp it was sounding. So they made a conscious decision to listen more intently. And let's not think there weren't distractions. Noises came from people doing business in the market, birds flying above, waves crashing the sea, side conversations, etc. In spite of all that, they still chose to listen in. Now, I clearly understand the purpose behind using a sounding board. And again, if your local church can afford it without nearly going broke, then go for it. But the desire for the perfection of sound can become a distraction to the bigger picture of the worship service. Individuals can get all worked up because the sound wasn't perfect that they fail to listen more intently.

Concert-level Music

Stellar worship services must develop concert-level music. In other words, the praise and worship must coincide well with the prior two subjects, and then some. It has to be on point! The praise team or choir must seek out individuals with the most melodious voices. The praise team leader, lead singer or choir director is nearly worshiped. And their acclaim should be almost up there with the pastor/overseer. Meaning in their mind, they're untouchable, unaccountable to anyone and is mainly responsible for the local church's rapid growth. Oh by the way, they need to get paid big bucks. Or else, they'll take their talented services to the local church on the other side of town; who would eagerly accept them to garner in rapid growth results. What a travesty! But instead of entertaining people, how about we just reach people with the gospel as our priority. The music setup shouldn't take preeminence over that. Again, none of this is really necessary. It's nice but not needed. How many of Jesus' messages were preluded by music? What about the apostles' messages? What about Paul's? Where was their band? Where was the choir? Don't get me wrong, the music can be a benefit to the message. But it should never transcend the message. People shouldn't be so wrapped up into the music, and afterwards tune out the preaching, wanting it rushed. But today that's done in many local churches, too many. Emotions and moods are real, but truth in love is what will bring real freedom. It's a healthy thing for your music ministry to know that on a weekly basis. (Watch this video about this this song)

Fashion Show Runways

Stellar worship services must have fashion show runways. It's not so much that they're modeling designer fashion, even though many local churches are, but rather designer appeal/status. See, many of today's churches have got away from suits and ties, but that doesn't mean they're not trying to still look over-professional. We clothe ourselves with self-righteousness, pride, unforgiveness, gossip, envy, jealousy, etc. And many of the things God wants us clothed with, we neglect (Colossians 3:12-15). Sadly, the best are praised in many local churches: the most professional, most talented, most famous, most wealthy, etc. But is that how God truly wants it? Does He just care about churches being filled with individuals living the middle class or wealthy lifestyle? Ideal families polished with the American Dream. Or is He also highly interested in the broken, homeless, handicapped, poor, and uneducated taking a seat as well? Many of those individuals just listed, local churches would rather not have. But ask yourself, "Is that God's stance?"

Ego-driven Platforms   

Finally, stellar worship services must spotlight ego-driven platforms. If one has a stellar church, suddenly, they're a celebrity. And many bask in that glory. They want to be placed on radio, television, in print, etc. for more of a spotlight to be shown on them. They have to wear the best, dine at the best and lodge in the most expensive places on vacation. Their speaking fees are astronomical, and if you're not willing to dish out the mega-bucks; you can't afford to get the mega preaching-star. Their homes are palatial, cars are ridiculously expensive and jewelry divine. Price and life style expense: It doesn't matter just as long as it strokes their ego. And only they can hear soundly from God but rarely anyone else. Again, none of this is absolutely necessary. It's nice but not needed. No one is saying live like a poor, miserable and lonely vagabond. Neither is anyone saying don't have a major ministry. But one must be careful with claiming too much of the spotlight. The spotlight should SOLELY go on Jesus, and we should be okay with being in the background, at times. Regardless of our popularity, we should check our egos at the door and give ALL the glory to God. (I Corinthians 3:1-11).