Who Has Your Back?

In the past few months God has really been teaching me a lot about how to be a good Worship Pastor, Church Planter, Employee, Husband, and Friend. I think when you boil it all down, there is one quality that will ensure you will be successful in a relationship no matter what it is. LOYALTY.

In the end what's really important in a friend, employee, husband, etc. is this: do they have your back? If they do, keep them as close as you can, if not lose them (unless you're married to them in which case GO TO COUNSELING). Loyalty is probably the most important quality you will ever find in a person aside from their relationship with Jesus Christ, and I personally believe that those things go hand in hand.

Allow me to explain what I mean by loyalty. No matter what, if you want to be a good husband, friend, whatever, you have to be loyal. That person has to know that you will do anything for them short of sin to protect them, help them, save them... It is my job to make sure that I do whatever I can to protect my wife from people who may not have her best interest at heart, from those who want to hurt her, from situations that are not safe or will not benefit her in any way. That is what God called us to do as husbands and wives and what most of us promised to do in our vows. As an employee I have a similar charge. God calls us to honor those in positions of authority over us (whether we like it or not). It is my job to protect Trey from the same type of stuff I protect my wife from. Think of David's "Mighty Men" risking their lives, literally, to get him a drink. When you serve under someone in a position of influence, especially when they're a pastor, people are going to attack them and try to bring them down. As an employee, its your job to make sure that doesn't happen. If you have a boss (or a wife for that matter) that you don't necessarily get along with, the quickest way to mend that relationship is to let them know that you have their back.

This brings me to my final example. When I was at my last church I would occasionally get complaints on our commitment cards: the music was too loud, too many guitars, you don't do this song enough. This is pretty much standard for all worship pastors and I'm sure I'll get more in the future. One of the best things I decided to do when these really started to get me down was to have our office manager censor them. She would look through them, check who was saying it (anonymous always went in the trash), and if it was a common complaint or just a random one. Then she would decide what I should see and not see. She had my back. She made sure that I wasn't being overloaded with negative comments unless they were real problems. In your relationships, THIS IS YOUR JOB. If you hear negative things about your friend/boss that you know to be unfounded and/or untrue, you stop it right there. You correct whoever is being negative and you end it. You don't tell your friend/boss "I heard this" or "Joe Blow is saying that." You protect them from the heartache that comes from knowing people are talking behind their back. If its a true problem that you also feel they could work on, you bring it to them but don't put it on others. Take responsibility and say "I've noticed this may be a problem and maybe its something you should think about..." Don't hide behind the fact that others might think the same thing. Real friends can be honest with one another and if its a problem, honesty will always be appreciated.

So, I challenge you to be loyal in all of your relationships. Protect your friends, family, and co-workers. And also take time to evaluate who has your back. Once you figure that out you may have fewer "friends" but you'll have real friends and not be disappointed with those who aren't real friends when they are disloyal.



Trey Kelly said...

So in this scenario am I Ponch or Jon? Because I would really rather be Ponch. He was awesome.

Great post. I might steal it.

TJ said...

You are definitely Ponch. If I had blonde hair it would almost be spot on. Except Ponch is the short one.

Susan said...

I can't believe anyone wrote negative things about the worship music when you were at our church. Had I known, I would have been writing things like 'awesome worship music this morning' or 'TJ and the band could not have been better today' on the commitment cards! You did an outstanding job and we are still missing you.
Signed, a loyal friend

TJ said...

It happens to every worship pastor. Music preference is a very personal thing and people have very strong opinions.