Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10

A healthy leadership team doesn’t see one another as competition. It works together as one unit. Each person has their role, and they work hard to perform in that role as best they can. But there is one competitive verse in the Bible. Romans 12:10 tells us to outdo one another in showing honor.

Ray Ortlund, Pastor of Immanuel Church, once said, “Our churches tend to live on a starvation diet of personal affirmation.” That applies to the members as well as the leaders. So, how do you encourage your leaders? Do they know how the Lord is using them?

One of the rhythms we are trying to build into our lives as leaders at Refuge Church is a culture of honor. There are some things that we need to say to each other that too often go unsaid. Many times, I’ve sat in wonder as I watched one of our folks serve selflessly, tirelessly, joyfully. I knew I was witnessing Christ at work in them. We need to create spaces to honor that.

We are a young church plant, so, naturally, our meetings are still taking shape. We currently have our staff meeting via conference call. Everyone is in a different house in a different part of the city. It works for us. Recently, we were able to all gather in one spot to have dinner and celebrate what the Lord has done so far. We talked about what it looks like to create a gospel culture among the leadership. Then we took some time to honor one another.

We call it honor time. It’s one of the many great practices I took with me from my time at Immanuel Church. Honor time is not flattery time. It is not saying something nice to someone so that they might say something nice to you. It is not a mutual admiration society meeting. It is looking at the work of God in another person and naming it. It is recognizing the glorious ways the Holy Spirit is building his church through his people. We’re honoring the Lord by honoring one another. And in so doing we are showing one another that our labor is not in vain. God is moving.

Leaders can feel so lonely. My guess is that each Sunday you and your leaders go home with some nagging piece of disappointment. You may even think the Lord could never use you. You may wonder if you’re wrecking the church. Honor time can quiet those voices.

So, how could you build this rhythm into your team’s life? Outdo one another in showing honor. It’s the one competitive thing we do.

Editor’s Note: This originally published at Things of the Sort