The Assemblies of God national youth director, Heath Adamson, talks often about creating a “culture of honor”. Being a child of the 80’s, the first thing I thought of when I heard that phrase was the Karate Kid movies and everyone’s favorite sensei, Mr. Miyagi. Japan is certainly an example of a culture where honor is an important value. But what does a “culture of honor” mean to you and me?

One danger facing young leaders is our tendency to neglect honor and default to flattery. Flattery rears its ugly head when we leverage seemingly kind words and overstated compliments in an attempt to advance our agenda. Flattery is self-serving in purpose and selective in distribution. On the other hand, honor displays a humble attitude and employs gracious genuine words (or strategic silence). The gift of honor is extended to leadership positions, not just persons in leadership.

As a leader you will always have other leaders to serve and follow. Often leaders expect the individuals following them to trust them in ways that they themselves are not willing to trust the leaders they have been called to follow. At best, that is inconsistent. Agree or disagree with our leaders, we are called to honor them and not just to their face. It’s very easy to attack and critique leaders, it’s very godly to protect and honor them. I’ve learned that my commitment to honor those over me is not truly put to the test until I disagree with them on a matter I care strongly about.

I am thankful for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit as He guards our hearts and joins our conversations. I am thankful that Jesus never failed as a leader and that his perfect leadership record belongs to and speaks for every believer! I’m thankful that the Father knows and judges the motivations of all men, so I don’t have to.

How do you go about creating a culture of honor in your ministry settings?

David Hertweck serves the Assemblies of God in New York as the state youth director. He has been involved in local church youth ministry since 1999. Check out his resources on DYM right here.