Submission is the Key
In today’s leadership talk, Pastor Priji converses with Prophet Marco Jericho on the importance of a spiritual covering in a leadership role, protection of our human senses and purity in our personal lives.
Tune in for insight on how to grow as a leader as well as excel at following our leaders. Share this podcast with others to bless them in their ministry as well.
Dear viewers, please find reference that In the below conversation Pastor Priji and Pastor Marco may refer to Pastor Shyju as ‘ Dad ‘ because Pastor Shyju is their Spiritual Father.
Pastor Priji: Would you just talk a little bit about what you do, your immediate family, your church and a few things about yourself to get to know you a little bit?
Pastor Marco: I serve in Emmanuel church here in Montreal, Canada. Church headed by my spiritual father and Prophet, Pastor Shyju Mathew. I’ve been given this great honour to lead the youth ministry, since 2012. It’s been a privilege to see young people come to know Jesus. It’s a multicultural city, Montreal, bilingual too with English and French with the diverse nations that come to it. I am also a father of one lovely son named Samuel who’s turning 1 this week.
Pastor Priji: How long have you been serving with the church now?
Pastor Marco: I’ve been serving since 2012. I started with just helping out with the youth worship team, which has progressed to being the youth pastor since a several years ago. I’ve been serving under the loving guidance of Pastor Shyju, it’s so important to have guidance especially in guiding youth ministry.
Pastor Priji: How did the church shift or change in direction after Pastor Shyju got complete leadership?
Pastor Marco: Pastor Shyju came along in 2013. Unfortunately, the environment in 2012 was very much unlike a church and thrown into a ministry where either you sink or swim. A certain thing in the youth ministry was the promotion of one’s ideas and trying to get others to believe in it to reach young people and the vision of it was very tough. I do believe in 2013, the transition with Dad coming, he was the youth pastor for the first year. When I came in, we didn’t really have a youth pastor and I was just being one of the youth leaders at that time. It was remarkable seeing a man, who had many followers, who have preached to 1000’s in crusades and now he’s coming to pastor the youth in Montreal where there are only 50-70 people. Up to that point, I had to fight certain battles inside the church, but after he came along, I learned a lot of things, how to present myself, how to not be so ambitious also. Sometimes as youth pastors we get very ambitious like ‘ Hillsong is doing this, we have to do it too ‘, so he taught me how to do things with our own DNA and giving our youth group our own DNA.
Pastor Priji: What is your personal story, your journey of encountering God and how that affected everything else in your life? What was your background, did you have one point of encountering God or was it over a period of time or was it gradual? What’s your story?
Pastor Marco: It starts at a very young age, I think it’s one of those wherein America we call them ‘ the final countdown prayer ‘, the desperate prayers when you hit rock bottom when you’ve lost everything and you make that one prayer and see what gives. Even though I have a background where my mom brought me to church, I was very much detached from that church and I wasn’t connecting. However, it took a lot of prayers and investment from my mom, to continue to pull my ears to come to attend church services, I definitely wasn’t tied down at a very young age where I actually was so displeased, at 10 years old, displeased at how I was being treated in life at general and getting into trouble, that I said ‘ if there is a God, you better answer me ‘. I was being sent to a school of discipline because I wouldn’t listen to anybody and I told everyone I don’t want to go, that if I got sent then I would kill myself. So I prayed to God saying ‘ you have to change my mom’s mind so I don’t have to go to this strict military school ‘. God did answer my prayers, I didn’t end up there, He gave me a second shot at life, my journey started there. My spiritual walk with God was very much gradual. My life began to grow after I saw that God really does exist where He heard my prayer, I decided to approach God more and test everything out where I put everything to use, like everything that’s being preached, using those things in real-life applications. I had decided from 2009 actually that I wanted to become a professional wrestler. So I grew up watching the WWF and WWE, I trained at a wrestling school and then what happened is it came to a point that I had to decide either go to Florida to the wrestling school to train and have an opportunity of a wrestling career. In 2012, Emmanuel church invited me to help out with a youth worship team and that was it. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I had chosen a wrestling career. I was a guitarist at the youth group, to help build the band. Eventually, from that, I grew to be the youth leader and henceforth growing to be a youth pastor. I wouldn’t have grown into what I am now without a father investing in me.
Pastor Priji: How important is it for us to be tuned into the frequency of God and to understand what He wants from our life to be successful? Usually, we think since we’re gifted at some natural abilities and talents, this is what I think I can be good at.
Sometimes, God’s plan may be for someone to do business but if he ends up in ministry and ends up doing something that God has not called him to do, it may create challenges. So according to your perspective, how important is it for us to be tuned into what God is speaking and doing in our lives so we can experience success?
Pastor Marco: For my journey I came from a background where ‘God exists, go to church, worship Him’ and that’s it. But how much control have I given Him in my decision making is the real question. When I started this journey, the 2 important things where, the first thing is, Sometimes we box in God into certain areas of our lives. God is going to sit back and let us control our own lives but it’s going to be a painful experience for us to do that. And the second thing is your identity. How in tune and how comfortable are you with God’s process. I got to watch Dad and how he died to himself and didn’t let himself get attached to things. If my identity is only on ministry or work life or playing the guitar, if I stop these things ‘ do I still know my identity in Christ? ‘, that is the question.
You find that your identity is not linked to the things you do but it’s in what you listen to.
Pastor Priji: As a leader, it is important to protect our character and lifestyle, to make sure that we are focused to make sure our lives in every way represents our spiritual leaders and Christ. What would you recommend to leaders to do so that they can protect their character?
Pastor Marco: One of the things I had to learn is learning how to be teachable. Sometimes we think we know everything simply because we’ve read books and know the demographics and we become very confident. So that’s one thing, to learn that we don’t know everything. The other thing is ‘Submission‘. The word submission these days is being associated with negativity because it’s been abused by people before. But as leaders, the biggest strength of a leader is learning how to submit to somebody and trust somebody else’s decisions over you. There is no school that will teach you that.
God can give you an idea, but I trust God enough that if the leader that I am under says ‘ no ‘ to me, then I am confident enough that God will speak to that leader I am under, and I am okay with that ‘ no ‘.
Leaders sometimes tend to feel the pressure that every decision needs to be perfect. I’m here to tell you that not every decision is going to be perfect, there’s only one perfect one and that is Jesus. He lived a life of perfection, but sometimes we have a criterion as leaders that sneaks up on us which is perfection. I have to admit to myself that not everything I do is going to be perfect, that I’m here to learn and might make mistakes too. It’s also by you submitting, that covers you. So the minute I do make a wrong decision, I have someone that covers that. If Jesus didn’t submit to God, then God could not have covered Jesus in his ministry.
Some people might think they don’t need a spiritual father, I used to think the same thing too but I learned the hard way. Having a spiritual father you’ve submitted to, not only gives you an identity but covers you with a certain grace.
The third point is to be a student of life, always be on the learning. Never compare yourself but always learn and go at the pace God has put you in, in your season. This also requires you being a student and understanding your times and seasons. As a leader, you can lead them but you can also lead them at the wrong moment, so it’s very important as a student of life that you are always learning about your times and seasons in any parts of leadership.
Pastor Priji: Leadership gets influenced a lot by our association. One of the associations we need in our life is the leaders we submit to and receive from. How important is to for us to guard our horizontal associations? The people we hang out with, people we spend our time with, the things we expose ourselves to.
Pastor Marco: In my past, I had put my eyes on a very prominent megachurch and on the youth, I’m talking about Hillsongs church. I would just emerge myself in everything to do with Hillsongs, what I found happening with myself as I did so was, my culture and DNA that I took from another church, I was trying to implement the same culture and DNA into my local church, not realizing what my father was trying to build here at Emmanuel church. It causes conflicts, we might think we have a balance, but what we have to ask ourselves is if there is an imbalance with the leaders that you’re serving under, then you have to ask ‘what is the root of this idea, culture or DNA you’re trying to implement’. It could be a good idea but doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be implemented into the existing DNA. I had to learn the DNA and vision of our own Pastor first.
Talking about Purity, it’s not just avoiding looking at X-rated movies that can be considered being pure, but it can also be associated to stuff we read and see as well, whatever we put inside of us will leak out into our ministry and business. Those in business as well know that people will look at famous businessmen and buy all their reading materials and learn to be like them etc, thus losing their own identity and trying to incorporate other’s DNA into their business.
It’s important to listen to the frequencies of God but we also need to learn the ripple effects of what we put inside of us and understand that our senses need to be protected.
Pastor Priji: How different is it for you to lead your wife and kids, with regards to leading those in the church? Do you have different approaches to leading youth or an adult? Are you the same way with everyone and will you be the same at home in private and out in public?
Pastor Marco: I would say that whether with youth or young adults, whether as a father or a husband, I would be myself. The question is about access, what level of access would I grant each person. The access my son would have would not be the same access the youth will have.
The second part would be learning how have they labelled me. When you minister with youth, what is their capacity to receive me? A youth member could see me as a big brother, another one could see me as a young pastor. So I would measure it with what capacity this person has given me and what access do I give them.
Definitely how I lead my wife at home, I know certain things I can speak to her and the capacity that she views me as her husband, but I have to measure and feel out what capacity I am viewed with by others that I minister to and accordingly grant them access.
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