A tidal wave is one of the most destructive forces on the planet. We saw its power in Japan just last year. It leveled cities. Shook nations. And destroyed lives.
When leaders try claim the authority of an office that doesn’t belong to them a title wave is initiated. It may help their image, but it does great harm to the body of Christ. In the past few years their has been an unprecedented wave of people exchanging their first name for their position in the body, or at least what many claim to be. My name is no longer John. It is prophet. My name is no longer Paul. It is apostle. I’m not Stephen anymore. I’m priest elder bishop so and so.
The heart of the matter has not even been people operating in what God has called them to, but people claiming power that God has not released and authorized them to use. Look, if God has called you to be a teacher, don’t stoop to be an apostle. If he has designed you to be an evangelist, don’t try to be a deacon. If God has given you to the work of a Holy Ghost filled pastor, stop calling yourself a motivational life-coach.
Titles are not claimed, they are given by God and confirmed by leadership. A self-proclaimed so-and-so is a prideful wolf with a hunger for power and an agenda all his own. So how do you know?
It’s about fruit. If you are an apostle I should be able to clearly see apostolic fruit, not just a confrontational person that likes to be in control of big things but can’t stay with one project for very long. If you’re called to be a prophet I should be able to see a good prophetic track record, not a condemnatory flake that always tears down and never encourages. Evangelist? I should be able to see souls and not just loud preaching. The list goes on. This wave is doing a terrible disservice to the body in an effort for such men and women to get another preaching gig or serve to validate their ministry with a word. Don’t nit-pick me on the minors. I’m not talking about people that hold a title with pure motives. I’m talking about the ones that have used a title to make people think they’re big time. If you’re like me, you know the real deal when you see it. It’s marked by humility.
So what’s my challenge to you? It’s simply to be confident in your calling enough to where you don’t have to have a title to make sure people know you are something special. Your life confirms your position, not your business card. Leadership will confirm what is on your life so you don’t have to force it! It’s the grace of God that we aren’t pushed into the authority that comes with any office before our character can withstand the pressure. That brings me to my final point.
Every calling requires integrity. Every office demands character.
If you say I’m an apostle, elder, bishop without first being a man of God then we make the office in front of men more important than our history and relationship with God. A friend of mine is tremendous healing revivalist in public, but he’s also a single man with integrity and purity of heart before God. Another friend is a sought after evangelist in public, but he’s also a man that honors his wife and guards his family time.
As leaders we have to realize that our ‘identity’ with God carries much more weight than our ‘titles’ among mere men. God doesn’t see me as an apostle or a prophet. He first sees me as a son. He first sees me as his righteous seed. And it is only from this realization of our relationship with him that we take the high ground above the ‘Title Wave,’ occupy a ministry office with Kingdom motives, and walk as a man or woman of God in the earth.