Manifesting Jesus in Leadership
Welcome to leadership talk. Today we have Pastor Paul Joseph from Nagpur sharing his life journey of becoming a pastor and also shares how a leader should manifest Jesus in their life. Pastor Paul, pastor The Restoration Christian Fellowship in Nagpur. Stay tuned to be blessed.
Apostle Priji: We would love to know your story. Where did you being with, how was family life for you when you were growing, what were the areas of concern that you had, what was the point of your transformation, change, and turning to God?
Pastor Paul Joseph: I was born in Nagpur, in a Christian family, as a pastor’s kid. Being a pastor’s kid I raised up in church and I always loved God. A point came where I lost my dad. I used to look up to him. He was basically riding on his faith all my life. The moment I lost him, my faith was shaken and I started questioning things. But, there was a season in my life when God encountered him and I encountered his beauty and his face. That moment changed my life. I was raised up on Nagpur. I went to Mumbai for my further education. I wanted to pursue media. My heart was to get into photography, into film making, and bless the body of Christ through that. I was studying there and slowly went far away from the Lord; there was no fellowship, etc. I had a dream job in my hand. That morning, the Holy Spirit told me “go back”. I had all these years studied for this and I did not want to become a pastor, but I always knew there was a call, I was sensitive to it. But, the Holy Spirit told me “go back”. I was confused as to is it my voice, is it the holy spirit. It was not loud but it was very strong in my heart. I could not sleep that night. I gave up my job and came back here. I did not know what I was going to do here. We had a church but I had no role to play. I was just helping the worship team, organizing it, but I was never really there. I was serving there but I did not know what my call was. I came here and I had no work here, I was asking the Lord, questioning everything. Did I mess up my job, did I mess up my one chance for a dream job. I did not want to get into ministry. Those 3 years were like a crushing time for me. It is a blessing when God is your only option. That actually happened with me. I had nothing, but just one thing that I was seeking the Lord and that was actually my crushing time. That was the time when God actually started to prune me, started to speak into my life. I do not even know, for so many days I was just in my room just seeking his face day in and day out. That is how my journey began. The Lord called me back with a vision for this city. I always had a burden for the city of Nagpur, and I know that God has something in store for this city, which will be manifested in the days to come. The Lord gave me a word. He said, “I am going the redig all the wells in the city, old wells. That is the vision that I have. I know that there will be revival soon in the city. I spoke to God and I told him that ”Lord I will not come just for the sake of it, I want something solid; I want you to really move in the city. Being a part of the city, I always thought that the apostolic was missing in the city. It is really sad and breaks my heart that people do not understand and somehow it just started pouring a father’s love inside my heart. It has been such a journey where he has been my father and he is helping me to father young people.
Apostle Priji: It is really good to see how the Lord has pruned you and purified you bringing you so closer to him because “the more we walk closer to him, the more we become closer to our destiny, our own identify, our own calling in life. You mentioned how even though you were part of the church for a long time, it took that face-to-face encounter with God, which had to transform your very personality.
I want to know what would you tell a young person who is lost in the world and who is running after all the ambitions that he has dreamt of or he is after money or after fame, or after an identity, something to establish in his career. What would you tell them about success, where or how can they truly find success? Because we think that if only I can work hard enough or if I only find the right contacts, or if only have the right people to invest money into my business everything will be alright. Here you are telling me that you had the right job, the best job that you wanted, and yet for the sake of the encounter, the voice, the presence of God you left everything and walked away. So, how would you help a young man make sense of what you are sharing.
Pastor Paul Joseph: The best advice that I have ever received is “Love Jesus because everything else is flesh”. It did not make any sense to me then. But, when I really encountered him, it started to make more sense to me. To the young people, I just want to say “one thing is for eternity, every other thing we just leave it here. The one thing is intimacy with God, it is that intimate relationship with Jesus, and one thing you will carry to eternity. Even after you die, you will have that intimacy with the Lord and you will leave everything here. So, why not invest into eternity, into something that is beyond our lives. Initially, I very worried about ”I have probably lost the thing that I was looking forward to.“ But, I have realized something that there is a lot of waste around loving Jesus. When Mary broke the alabaster jar, there was so much of waste but he is still worth it. He is still worth everything. There are so many wasted dreams but he is still worth it. I do not regret any of it because I know he is worth it. That is real/true worship to him. I just want to encourage the young people that the idea of success in the world is very fragile and futile, but Jesus is one person that is constant. I found my identity in him because I was completely lost in the world. That one moment/encounter with him is worth everything. Once you taste his presence/his love/ the sweetness that he brings, there is no going back. Once you encounter that everything changes.
Apostle Priji: That is very powerful. I love what you said that when you follow Jesus definitely there is lot of wastage, but even that wastage pouring it at the feet of Jesus is still worth it. So, even at the cost of saying “Hey, I dreamt, prayed, invested so much money”, all of it is worth it to follow Jesus. That is amazing! Sometimes, in my personal experience, when we have an encounter with God or when we have had a revelation, it is very easy to make that leap of faith, and then we go back into our routine, then we have to make a choice about whether I am going to be living in this house or that house, this rent or that rent, this school or that school. We have to compare and decide on the amount of money we will be spending on, the kind of people we will be spending our time with, that is when the real choices are made.
How can we transform our encounters into our daily actions, choices, decisions that we make on a daily basis? Because sometimes I have seen the most amazing Jesus-loving people love Jesus, they pour themselves out into the presence of God, and then they walk out and make some really bad choices and decisions. So, something got lost between the encounter that they had and then going back into making the right choices and decisions that they are supposed to make. How would you help our young people to value every decision, every choice, every word that they speak, and how can those choices reflect the encounter you received in your relationship with God?
Pastor Paul Joseph: This one thing that really changed my life is beholding, just looking and beholding him. Initially, it was just “what is that?” So many people think it is beautiful, but when I started beholding him, there was something that started transforming in my life. It is daily thing, it is every moment. You just cannot resist his beauty, you just cannot resist looking at him. For me, personally, the thing that changed me is constant beholding. You have an encounter but then you cannot resist beholding him, looking/gazing at him. For me, I think that was my breaking point when because of that one encounter I started beholding him and then I could not resist. I think that is one thing that has kept me going. Every time you look at him, there is some revelation that comes to you. There is a new side of him that you receive from him. I think that is what keeps me going on; that one encounter, that daily beholding him, that daily receiving fresh manna from him.
Apostle Priji: I think that some times when we start depending on ourselves, that is when our choices and decisions go haywire. But, the more we look at him, we receive strength from him to choose who to marry. We understand from him what is his will concerning where we spend our money, where we live, or how we do our things. The moment we start depending on ourselves, that is the beginning point of sin. It is not that we really have to commit something really bad or kill somebody to be called a sinner. It is just that we are now just depending on our own abilities than looking at him, and receiving our help from God himself.
I want to know how was it for you to explain this to young people who are being tempted on a daily basis. They go through life, there are friends, people, there are situations and circumstances. Every school/college now a days is like a place where there is so much of diversion and so much of distraction and temptations. How would you encourage them to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus in the midst of all the temptations, all the lures of the world?
Pastor Paul Joseph: I understood that there are so many people who rest on their love for Jesus. It should be the other way round, you should be resting on his love for you. If you put your love on a graph, it is up and down constantly. For most people, on Sundays it is like a ride up and throughout the week it is ride down. But his love is constant. How can you put your faith, your confidence in a love that is so fragile, that is not even constant. I see this picture where at the last supper Jesus is there and John is leaning at the bosom of Jesus. Jesus says “one of you will betray me.” Peter is sudden to ask “who is it.” John is leaning of Jesus’ bosom and is asking the same question. Surprisingly Jesus answered John, that tells me that probably Peter was resting on his love for Jesus. He was thinking “Lord I love you. Even if these disciples may forsake you, I will go to the point of death but I will not leave you.” But, he was the first one to do that. Probably he was resting on his love for Jesus. He was confident “I love Jesus”. The thing that I learnt was we need to rest on his love for us. John said “no matter what, I know that you love me. That shows me how it is important to rest on his love. That is so real and constant. It breaks my heart where this Gen Z culture is just about yourself. The moment it is the other way, he loves me and I am resting on his love because he loved us first, things will begin to change and fall into place.
Apostle Priji: That is powerfully mentioned because whenever we think that we can outdo ourselves and we can do better than what we did yesterday, then we are getting into a trap by itself. But, when we trust in his love for us, in what God had already done and how he continues to serve and love us, that is amazing and the ground we can stand on. I would love to know who are the people who have journeyed with you, who has helped you in your walk with God or who are the people that you have learnt to imitate, grasp and learn from. I know that you love Jesus so ferociously but you would have seen other people who love Jesus that way for you to also desire to do the same thing. We would love to know how were people able to influence you, who were the people and how did they influence you.
Pastor Paul Joseph: First one would be my dad. Day in and day out I saw him love and demonstrate Jesus. He was the man of faith and I learnt the language of faith from him. I learnt how to operate in faith. I used to just look at him. When I was quite small, my mom used to tell me to sit on the first row. I would just look at him and just listen to him. I think that is where I mostly received my inheritance. I learnt a lot about the person, the man of Jesus from him. I saw him first.
The second is Pastor Shekar Kalyanpur from Mumbai. The moment he met me, he just spoke life into me, my situation, he just pin pointed his finger right at my heart. He said “this is your calling, this is how you need to walk”. I learnt so much from him about how to really be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He started speaking into my life and I think that moment really expanded my vision. It really opened a realm of something very different for me, which I probably did not know. Then, I realized that it is so important to have fathers. There is no substitute to having spiritual fathers and mentors, you have to be in a spiritual covering.
The third is Pastor Raycha. When he came into my life, I got that father’s embrace, the real embrace from God, and he started speaking in my life. He loved me and I saw Jesus in him. I saw how Jesus would be, how Jesus would love, Jesus would demonstrate the father’s heart. He thought how to behold, how to be in that intimate place, just by looking at him there was an impartation in my life. These three people really influenced my life.
Apostle Priji: It is definitely something we all need, these people who embrace us, who speak life into us, who we can imitate and emulate. That it is beautiful, Paul! We would love to know of going forward what is your vision for your church, for yourself, for your ministry, for your journey with God. How do you see yourself five years down the line or what do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
Pastor Paul Joseph: I came back with a vision from Mumbai and I know that there is going to be revival in the city. My heart cries out, burns for the city. I know the thing that God gave me is the church, the ministry, but I know I am called for the city. It is more than just the church. I think I am called for the bride of Nagpur. Prayerfully we are going ahead with not only just start hosting and going to places around the city and hosting God and declaring over our city. I want to see Nagpur saved, I want to see revival birth here, I want to see the heart of God restored in this place, I want to see fathers and sons coming together. That is what my heart burns for in this city.
Apostle Priji: That is amazing because you are saying “I want to build something which is not necessarily going to personally benefit me”. Because when I say “I just need to start a church or start a business or start something that is also eventually going to benefit me, personally.” I understand that, but you are saying “I want to bless the city, I want to serve the city, I want to just host God in this city”. The city does not pay a salary, but God does. God sees what you do for the bride, what you do for people that cannot pay you or help you or cannot really support you. That is really encouraging. The reason we do conversations like this on Leadership Talk is that we want to know what is it that makes leaders. It is not just the pictures you put on Instagram or all the likes and shares we get for our reels, but it is these convictions that we make behind the scenes, these decisions, choices that we make behind the scenes that make leaders. This is what makes real generals of God. Twenty or thirty years down the line we have conversations like this to go back to and say “there was something that I confessed about my city, that I declared and I know that that is the ground that I am standing on, and I will continue to do that until I see God moving me elsewhere or moving me into something else”.
On a concluding note, is there anything else that the Lord has placed on your heart that you just want to speak to other leaders. Some of our other leaders that are listening they may be not necessarily in a Christian environment. Some of them are leaders in a secular environment, class teachers, incharge of twenty kids, somebody else who is a businessman and he has 8-10 employees under him that he can influence, someone else who is a house maker and she has two or three kids that she is leading. How would encourage them to use the influence that they are getting to raise Jesus lovers in all these environments?
Pastor Paul Joseph: The one thing that I would like to tell our dear friends is stick with Jesus, make him your priority, and let him manifest himself through you, let him demonstrate himself through you, let him show off his glory through you. Wherever you walk, wherever you go host him in such a way that he becomes real to people around you. That is one thing I really want our friends to take from this conversation.
Apostle Priji: Yes, Amen! Would you just take a moment to pray for our listeners and to bless them?
Thank you so much Pastor Paul for joining us on this podcast, for sharing your heart! If our listeners need to connect with you, what are the best ways that they can connect with you and the church that you lead.
Pastor Paul Joseph: We do not have a website yet, but we are on Instagram and Facebook, so you can go and connect with Restoration Christian Fellowship, Nagpur. I am there on Instagram “Paul Joseph” you can connect with me anytime.
Apostle Priji: Thank you so much, may the Lord bless you!
Pastor Paul Joseph: Thank you pastor!
Apostle Priji: Friends, I hope that the Lord has spoken some bits of what it takes for you to become a Jesus lover, for you to become a leader who will lead like Jesus and manifest Jesus in everything that you do. God bless you guys!
Links to connect with Pastor Paul:
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