A Culture of Honor: My View from the Front Row...by Renee Toeller

Updated: Aug 14, 2018

“Lord, let Your Kingdom come in our lives, in this city, in this nation, just as it is in Heaven!”

The declaration comes with power and authority as the worship crescendos. The room erupts in agreement and praise. Whether it’s Steven or Rene Springer on the microphone, the apostolic authority releases another dimension of the Lord’s glory, shaking heavenly realms.

Our Senior Leaders, Steven and Rene, are Apostles, co-leading a ministry called Global Presence. In our midst, we have fiery men and women who preach, teach, administrate, worship, prophesy, lead, follow, lay hands on the sick, care for children, and set up chairs.

I was 19 when the Springers invited me to intern with Global Presence as a missionary. Not only did they invite me to serve along side them, but they also welcomed me into their home. Talk about discipleship through doing life together! I stayed with the Springers for several weeks before going to Ghana, Africa, with another amazing woman to help start our Hope Home (orphanage) where I served initially for 5 months. Now, for nearly the past 4 years, I’ve had the incredible honor of serving with Global Presence both in Ghana and in the United States in numerous facets of ministry, primarily in the areas of worship, teaching, and empowering children to live in the fullness of God’s love.

One of the greatest privileges for me these past 4 years has been the mentorship of Steve and Rene. They’ve modeled for me what it is to have strong leadership in their family and in ministry. The Lord has taken them from worldly spheres of influence, living all-out for the pleasures of the world and a life void of a Savior, to a radical life of love in response to a passionate God. They have been through purifying fire and the stripping of anything that was a counterfeit source of fulfillment, and the Lord has now given them a life full Himself: His amazing love, His presence and power, and His supernatural peace and joy. The Lord is now also giving them even greater influence for His Kingdom than they had had previously from the world.

I can say confidently, they live lives in beautiful, continual surrender to Jesus. And from this place of trust, I watch them tenderly devote themselves first to the Lord, then to one another as the selflessly serve the Body of Christ.

What has been cultivated in our midst, and what I believe the Lord is establishing in the Body of Christ at large, is a culture of honor. No matter the position, we submit to one another and don’t feel threatened when another is leading. There is so much celebration of the unique giftings the Lord has placed in each of us, and we continue to see God’s grace increase as we recognize and honor this unique expression of God in our brothers and sisters.

An easy example of how a culture of honor is lived out is in the way our worship teams function. Though we have several anointed, gifted, powerful worship leaders, many times they serve as singers and musicians without the role of “worship leader.”  In these times, they follow direction of the designated leader, Holy Spirit moves in power, and we are all strengthened as we encounter God’s love in a deeper way. Then another worshipper with a different sound and style serves in the leadership position, and all the other gifted leaders follow this leader. Holy Spirit moves in the midst of this unity and the whole room comes into an encounter with heaven.

No one fights for position. No one feels “less than” when they are not leading. All are edified. And Jesus is glorified.

Steve and Rene are both strong leaders. And they are wired very differently from each other. Steve is a visionary who sees big-picture and enjoys a challenge. Rene flows very creatively with Holy Spirit and is great with details. As they ebb and flow with Holy Spirit, they submit to each other in their strengths. And it is stunning to watch.

I sit in the front row as they team-preach, each of them releasing a powerful dimension of God’s heart.

I watch and join them in praying for the sick and oppressed as the compassion of Jesus brings healing and deliverance. I listen and contribute in our staff meetings as they share vision and direction from the Lord. I see them love unconditionally those who honor them and those who don’t. I sit at the dinner table with their family as we share life together. And I’m amazed that God has placed me here with a husband and wife who each model for me what it is to lead well and to love well.

I realize many people have not had the same experience as I have been so blessed with. Some have never seen a healthy marriage. Some haven’t had fathers and mothers who continue to call forth the gold and cheer their kids on. Some haven’t seen a healthy husband and wife duo in ministry. This is my encouragement: You, right here and right now, as a child of God, have full access to all He is and to all of heaven.

The honor starts in heaven, where God surrendered. The Father said to Jesus, “You are my One and only Son,” and Jesus responded, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” What resulted was God Himself laying aside His glory to take on our shame and death. And why? So He could raise us up to be co-heirs with Christ. He surrendered so we would share his glory.

As much of a blessing as it is to have spiritual fathers and mothers who model honor, and who speak into our lives to empower us, our greatest example yet is found in the Godhead.

How glorious He is, and how glorious His Church is becoming as we walk in the honor He has set before us.

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