I had the great honor to have spent a few moments with Pastor Robert Morris and his wife, Debbie, this past week during Elim Fellowship’s Leadership Conference. As the Service Producer I had the chance to touch base with him on his needs/plans during each of the sessions as well as to engage in just a few moments of friendly banter. I treasure these moments. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of doing the same with Bill Johnson, Jack Hayford, David Ireland and Larry Stockstill.
I wish I could have spent more time with them. However, I think I spent enough to at least get a first impression of their personality and character. Here is a summary of some of those ‘first impressions’, particularly regarding Pastor Robert.
Robert unapologetically preaches with authority and confidence. He told the audience that he had a measure of authority and confidence as well – especially in the area of giving and finances. Yet his attitude was not haughty or proud, in my opinion. I think one mark of a humble person is an awareness of his strengths and the confidence to engage those strengths with confidence.
Transparency is a quality I highly value and admire in others. When I speak of transparency, I’m speaking of that inclination to be exactly who you are no matter what venue you find yourself in. In other words, you’re the same in the back hall as you are when on-stage. You don’t have two persona’s. You simply are who you are, wherever you find yourself, whether in public or in private. I saw Robert’s love for the Word of God, sense of humor, and desire to please the Lord in the green room just as much as we saw it on-stage.
I’ve been around enough “important” people to experience the unpleasant feeling that I am invisible or unimportant despite being present and accounted for. (Note: I am not speaking of the other great leaders mentioned above.) From the moment I met Pastor Robert I never felt like he somehow considered himself above myself or anyone else with whom he spoke to. In fact, in watching him interact with the few people who made their way to him before or after the service I saw the same exact thing. He seemed to genuinely consider others just as valuable as the next guy.
Understand, I don’t know Robert Morris personally. These were just the general impressions I got in my few interactions with him. I’m inclined to believe that my impressions are fairly accurate. I don’t think humility, transparency, and acceptance are traits that are easy to ‘fake’.
What about you? What are the ‘impressions’ people get upon first meeting you? If you were to evaluate YOURSELF in the above 3 traits, how would you rate yourself? In fact, what people in your life do you think would honestly say those three characteristics describe you?
I don’t know about you, but I aspire to excel in these areas of my life. I hope you do as well.