Prophetic words – nicknames

By Dave Henning / June 27, 2024

“The nicknames that Jesus gave were not descriptive as much as they were prescriptive. . . .  Jesus saw potential where others didn’t.  Those nicknames were more than terms of endearment.  They were prophetic words that completely revolutionized who those people saw when they looked in the mirror.  Jesus didn’t just see what was wrong with people.  He saw what was right.”- Mark Batterson

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”- Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”- Victor Borge

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 5 of A Trip around the Sun with an observation about his father-in-law, Bob Schmidgall.  Pastor Schmidgall used to say, “Who you are doing ministry with will determine how much you enjoy it.”

Therefore, Pastor Batterson knows for sure that he wants to do ministry with the people he wants to do life with.  Consequently, at National Community Church they cultivate a culture of honor.  But they also cultivate a culture of humor.  Hence, Mark loves the words fun and loving by themselves.  However, he sees the combination as even better: fun-loving.

Certainly, this mindset affects how Mark leads at NCC.  He explains:

“In my parlance, CEO stands for Chief Emotional Officer.  You don’t just set the pace as a leader.  You set the tone.  [If] emotional intelligence accounts for 80 percent of career success . . . then I’d better do my best to foster an atmosphere of emotional positivity.  It starts with operating in a spirit of humility.  Throw in the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control — and you’ve got the ingredients for a dream team. . . .

I want to make sure every member of our team feels valued, not just for what they do but more importantly for who they are (emphasis Mark’s).”

Above all, when you catch people doing things right, it opens up ordinary moments to turn into a little adventure.

Today’s question: Do you ever bestow nicknames as prophetic words?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Values hearts over titles – God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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