L.E.A.D. – Atmosphere
L.E.A.D. – Atmosphere
The L.E.A.D. training program is all about equipping families to be able to be the spiritual leaders of their own homes. The reason we feel this is so needed in today’s world is that we want each family to reach their full potentional that the Father has placed within each of us. To be fully successful, each individual needs to learn how to be leaders, especially the men of the families.
Unfortunately, we have not been taught how to be spiritual leaders. For decades, we have dragged our families to a church service once or twice a week and we have allowed someone else to be our spiritual leader. Now with the advent of technology, we can simply sit on our living room couch and watch online. Those two options have become the feeding mechanism of how we grow our family….but it has stifled us as a people.
Now, that is not to say that this scenario hasn’t worked – to some degree. Almost each of us have come from a church background and much of what we have learned has come from that background.
However, just like the children of Israel in Egypt were protected by the hand of God, so were we. It was God himself that brought Jacob and his family into the land of Goshen in Egypt, but it was time for them to move on and move to a different place. In the same way, church in traditional atmospheres, and the way the church is done, has its limitations. But what I found as a pastor is that even though I was teaching every week, people were coming in and filling the auditorium every week, and 1000s were watching online, the end result of men leading their families was not happening. It just wasn’t happening.
In the old days when you wanted to bring people into a new apprenticeship, let’s say a blacksmith, there was a certain protocol. A blacksmith is going to take his son and teach him to be a blacksmith by showing him how to do it. This is the Hebrew concept. The Greek concept is to sit in a class and instruct them on the topic. The Hebrew concept is ‘let’s do after we learn’. That’s exactly what we’re going to do right now. We’re going to learn how to teach. As you know my verse is 222. That’s my number. It comes from Second Timothy 2:2, “And the things you’ve heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” It is all about discipleship – teach others to teach others. Thus the lead acronym, Leadership, Encourage, and Disciple. That’s what L.E.A.D. means.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
What a revolution it will be if we can get men to stand up to be the leaders! What this program is endeavoring to do is to equip and empower leaders. What we want to do is empower the family leaders to do the best that they can. If you are brand new to Torah, or even a brand-new believer, and are not comfortable leading your family in this way or you don’t know how to do it, we will be creating a curriculum that will help you every step of the way.
This first episode tonight is a little bit different because I’m going to do an experiment on everyone. Ultimately, what we’re going to do is create the curriculum in PDF form for you to download and use to lead your family in a Shabbat service. A transformation will happen in your family and the Father will bless you expendentially. Simply by following the PDF file you’ll be able to get great feedback from the kids, wife or whoever is sitting around your table. Each time this format is followed, it will get a little bit easier and the Shabbat service will get better and better.
At the end of the day, my job is to lead, encourage and disciple family leaders to a place where there is no fear in leading. When we equip people with the right tools to teach, we can then watch the prophet, priest, and protector of the home rise up, thus creating the honor and the respect from the spouse and the children. Then the Holy Spirit will transform the home into a temple, into a tabernacle of the Most High.
First and foremost, the most important thing moving forward is not the curriculum. Most people, especially in the Torah movement, or the Christian roots movement, is that one starts learning a little bit about the front of the book as I like to call it, and everybody wants to learn, learn, learn, learn, learn. And there’s nothing wrong with learning. That’s fantastic. Paul says in 1 Cor. 4:15, “Even if you had 10,000 guardians in Christ, teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” He basically says we don’t need more guardians, we need more fathers. Let that verse be the theme verse of today. In this movement, we all want to learn something. What we’re trying to do is not learn something, we’re trying to convey something. And there’s a big difference. We want to convey something, and it starts with atmosphere. We’re trying to create a connection inside the family unit. And inside the family unit, we have this thing called atmosphere. Think of a husband and wife: If a husband creates the right atmosphere for his wife, then there can be intimacy, there can be love, there can be connection. The L.E.A.D. program, deals with conveying or creating a Bible study, a home church atmosphere, and a service. It is all about atmosphere.
Think about it like this. When you’re dealing with a wedding, what does a bride do? She’s going to prepare for her wedding day, with all kinds of preparations, from physical preparations to dress preparations. What we want to do here is to create the right atmosphere. A bride or a wedding is a great example. There’s so much preparation that goes into preparing for a wedding, and that’s what we want to do. We want to create the atmosphere and that can be either a good atmosphere or a bad atmosphere. When you come into a wedding, what’s normally the first thing that is happening in atmosphere? It’s music. Music touches the soul. It opens up the pores of the spirit and allows a frequency to transcend whatever the other frequencies are. One of the things that we do at our house is create an atmosphere of worship. This all starts long before Shabbat begins, days before Shabbat!
But I’m not going to take you days ahead of time. We’re going to come back to that. I want to start on Erev Shabbat. Friday night is called Erev Shabbat. Erev is the Hebrew word for evening. The evening of Shabbat is the beginning of the Sabbath, when the sun goes down on Friday night. Erev Shabbat is when we start creating the atmosphere, hours in advance. We cut off the television, everybody is usually helping in the kitchen, baking bread, preparing for the evening meal. We take Erev Shabbat very seriously.
ATMOSPHERE – PREPARATION
Preparation is important. Sabbath candles are lit, the dining room table is set and a good meal is looked forward to. We are preparing for the bride, preparing for the Holy Spirit to enter our home, just like a groom prepares for his bride. Everyone notices that there is a difference on this day, it is different than the normal work week. We shift from technology to a time of worship, creating shalom in our home. It starts with turning on worship music in the background and letting the frequency of praise and worship permeate the entire home. You cannot enter into a wedding ceremony, ladies and gentlemen, by playing rock music. Can you imagine walking into a wedding, and they have rock music playing, and the stage is not decorated, and there is nobody in the auditorium, no one’s dressed up, there is absolutely no indication that this is a special day? When you’re walking into a wedding, it’s supposed to be a special day. When you are celebrating Shabbat, the Bride is preparing. It is a wedding day. It is supposed to be a massive transformation. This doesn’t mean that I get dressed up into a suit. What it means is that my spirit gets dressed up. I’m putting off the flesh for the week and I am putting on the spirit man that is ready to meet with my Bridegroom, ready to meet with my Maker. This is an incredible moment. Before you get into family church, you have to set the atmosphere.
All of us have been to church, and normally it starts off with worship. There is a reason why you start off with worship. Worship leads…even in ancient times, worship led. When Jericho fell, it was after the trumpets led! The musicians were out front in every war. That is where many countries have gotten the tradition of trumpeters and drummers marching out in front. It’s the biblical concept that the frequency of worship is supposed to go out before the battle. Before we do any kind of supernatural battle, worship is supposed to permeate. Let Yahweh do what He does, let the angels start to vibrate in the mulberry trees, and let the chariot show up. Then we can follow through the manifestation of the physical realm. In the same way, this is how we are supposed to operate in our homes during Shabbat. Move the worship into our homes and let the Spirit begin to settle over our homes.
WORSHIP AND SHABBAT
The first thing is to prepare for Shabbat, period. We’re transitioning into the holy Shabbat. We are transitioning our flesh. We are transitioning the physical atmosphere in the home with worship. You can put on video worship and get the worship going in that atmosphere. Cut everything down and then get people involved. This is really important if you have little kids. If you have smaller children, get them involved in the kitchen, get them involved in the process of setting the table, and get them involved in the process, even if it’s just in the physical realm.
What will happen is that the spiritual realm inside of them will start to subconsciously realize that we are in a shift of the moment. We are shifting from a kitchen table to a dining room table. We’re shifting from our average workday into a holy day. Let’s talk about worship here for a second. In our home, when we transition, we are not transitioning into hip hop worship music. We want to bring in the carriage of the Holy Spirit, that litter or that vehicle, that chariot if you will. And I believe that we do that through soft worship music. I’m all for hip hop, worship music. We even sometimes play Hebraic Christian rap music just because we are all excited. We kind of play it by ear. But by the time we get to the dinner table, we are ready for the wedding, and praise music permeates the entire home.
Even if we have been playing hip hop music for hours before while cooking, or we are all just having fun together, but when we move into that dining room table moment, it’s like moving from one atmosphere to another. It is as if those doors open up in the back of that chapel, and the music switches to ‘here comes the bride’. Everyone stands up at that song because they know that song symbolizes that the bride is about to enter. This is the atmosphere that we like to create in our house. I’m not saying everybody has to do it this way. This is just what we do. But when we sit down, we switch to a very low-key instrumental-only worship. We love the Christian worship instrumental that allows no words to be in the background. That way when we do our Erev Shabbat ceremony for dinner, no one gets distracted by the words playing in the background. Everyone is fully engaged in welcoming the bride to our family table as we do our Sabbath family ritual. This is our preparation for the ‘wedding day,’ which is what Shabbat is all about.
Now, let’s talk about it throughout the week. One of the big mistakes that people will make, especially in this movement (because it’s just so black and white) is that we forget that we’re all emotional beings. We simply cannot just jump into Shabbat and say, “Okay, now it’s time for church, everybody.” Especially if dad didn’t create a good atmosphere during the week and now wants everyone to pay attention and listen to him. For those of you that do not have families or anyone in your house, you can take some of these principles, and they work all across the board in leadership. There are two things that are really important for leadership. No one wants to listen to somebody that has not created the desire for the other person to want to listen to them to begin with.
If we do not know this next part that I’m going to talk about, if we do not know this like the back of our hand all relationships will fail. What I’m about to tell you is the key to all relationships. So, pay attention, get your iPad out, get your notepad out, write down this word. Aretha Franklin made it absolutely popular when she wrote a song called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect is the key to every single relationship. Once you understand the concept of respect, you will always get it. Let me say that again. Once you understand the concept of respect, you will always get it. It is really easy for a man to respect people when he is getting respect. It is very difficult for children to respect their parents when the children are not getting respect. I think it is worth five or six minutes here, it is worth hours, but we’re going to talk for just a few minutes about how important it is to prepare for Shabbat. You will probably never hear this anywhere else because no one is probably going to tell you this crazy thing that I’m going to tell you, which I believe is the secret for all relationship successes.
And that is this: You can prepare with the Word of God. You can prepare with worship music. You can have the greatest fine china. You can buy a brand-new dining room table. You can put on a suit and tie. You can light the candles perfectly. You can have the most beautiful three braided bread. But I’m telling you right now if your home does not respect your family leaders, all of it is a clanging cymbal.
Your teenagers will roll their eyes, they will go through the motions but none of it will sink in. There will be nothing that will impress into their soul, which is the entire point and purpose of why we are doing all of this. It is to impress the character and the image of the Most High into the inner soul of your family and let Yahweh impregnate them with His image and let the glow of His power move out through them and create a deeper connection within the family unit.
Your children will be waiting at your feet for what you have to say, and not just on Shabbat, it will be all throughout the week. I’m going to give praise where praise is due. My kids know. There is so much respect for almost all my children towards me because I love them and show it through respecting them. Whenever I have something to say, they’re interested in what I have to say, they want to know what I have to say. And my teenagers can come up and say, “Dad, what do you think about this?” Or “What do you think about that?” It’s a dream come true. It’s what dads dream of, to have their children come up and say, “Dad, can I get your opinion on this?” And here is how you do it, you simply respect them. One of the biggest mistakes and I don’t want to turn this into a parenting teaching, but this is something that’s really important. You must respect your children.
Most parents do not respect their children with the same respect that we require of them. For instance, we yell and scream at them when they yell and scream at each other, but we yell and scream at our spouse, and we don’t think that’s hypocritical. We don’t even catch the hypocrisy that we’re presenting in front of our children. So, our children go: “Wait a minute. This is not right. They’re yelling at us for yelling, but they do the same thing. They argue and bicker exactly the way that we do. They’re acting like children.” I’ll never forget, more than one time this has happened. Has anybody ever been in a car, and you begin to get into an argument with your wife or your spouse, and it’s the dumbest argument in the world? It’s like, was the sky green yesterday, or was it blue? Nobody cares. But guys, we get into these dumb arguments. And then I remember one of my kids shooting from the backseat, and so I look in the rearview mirror, they’re like, “Mom, Dad, you guys are acting like us. Do you need a timeout?”
It’s just so funny because this is exactly what happens, they see the hypocrisy. When we treat them like little people, (and I could spend an hour on this) and respect them, is very important. Parents, listen to me, if you want to have an amazing Shabbat, you must begin the process of preparing the road for that on Sunday morning. Let Sunday morning be another church service, your second service and let the next Shabbat start Sunday morning and let it begin with respect. Begin to treat your children like you do your neighbor or your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you don’t discipline. It means that they’re little people, they have little minds, and their minds work. They are smart and they are brilliant little people. And when they do things that are brilliant, you need to acknowledge it. When you screw up, you need to acknowledge it, you need to humble yourself, you need to play by the same rules that you give to them.
If you tell them don’t cheat, then don’t cheat! They’ll pick it out, they’ll see everything that you do. Respect them. When they disagree with your commandments, you know what? Don’t tell them because I told you so. Don’t pull that. That’s not what we parents do with one another, is it? If we have communication with one another or a disagreement, we say: “Hey, Jim, you know, I disagree with you on this. Can we talk about this?” And then adults talk with reason. We have a court system in our house, and I can’t tell you how many times Cheryl will come down with a judgment after a long day with the kids. They’re allowed to appeal mom’s decision. They come to me, and they present their case. There are many times when their case is better than her case, and I overturn it. Cheryl understands that she might have said something in the heat of the moment, and she made a hasty judgment. On the other hand, I’m not emotionally involved with it. I look at the facts and if the facts are on their side, well, they can have that ice cream tonight. It is important that they have the right to have a voice, and that they know that they have a voice. They need to know that they can express their reasons and their experiences of why they feel what they feel. Allowing your children to be able to appeal to you sets up the ability for you on Shabbat to be able to appeal to them the word of God.
Let that sink in for just a moment. If we don’t allow our family, our spouses, and our children to appeal to us, or they don’t feel safe to express their feelings, their concerns or challenge you without you getting offended, then they’re not going to want to hear anything that you have to say throughout the week. All right, so that can be its own program. But hopefully, that made sense. We need to learn to respect one another and hear each other out. We simply don’t do that enough, especially if you have teenagers! Sometimes children can be aggravating, and we just want to put the law down, but we can’t. We cannot just put the law down. God doesn’t just put the law down, He came down. Did you hear that? He just didn’t put the Law down. He came down to our level. The creator of the universe came down and lived among us.
LIVE AMONG THEM
When was the last time you lived among your children? When was the last time that you went to their room and just sat down on their bed and said, “Hey, what’s going on? Tell me what’s going on in your world. ” If you want them to come into your world on Shabbat, but you don’t want to go into their world throughout the rest of the week, then don’t expect much on Shabbat. Husbands, if you want to have a relationship with your wife, but you only want to do it on your terms, it’s not going to be much of a relationship? You need to ‘enter into her world’.
Just like Yeshua entered our world, He became one of us. So that means that you need to see like your wife sees. You need to find out what’s going on in her life. You need to become like your teenager. You want to find out what their hurts and realities are. We always roll our eyes. I’ve got a situation right now where I roll my eyes at one of my kids and go, “Oh my gosh, was I really like that at 17,18,19 years old when I was a teenager? Did I really think like that?” It is so easy to project our 30 years of experience onto a teenager, but the truth is that we were like that! We made those same mistakes, so we need to live in their world and understand where they’re coming from. I’m challenged with that every day. I’ve got six daughters. Five of them still live in the house, and four of them are teenagers. Please, love your families by giving them respect and letting them into your world.
When we start to do that with the purpose of Shabbat in mind, so we don’t humiliate ourselves and people want to hear us, you’ll begin to see a radical transformation in the home. Now, hopefully, you are able to see where we’re going here, that this is not just about having church service. This is about the transformation of an entire family. This is the restoration of children to their fathers, wives to their husbands. This, if it’s done right, will touch every part of your life. You’ll learn so many principles through this. I believe it will be so life-transforming.
Lastly, and by the way, this is the easiest part. Are you ready for the easiest part? Know the material. When I give you the material, read it, study it, know it like the back of your hand. It will be very easy. It will be broken down into bullet points in sections. There’ll be a Hebrew word section, there’ll be an Old Testament section, there will likely be a New Testament section, whatever the Holy Spirit puts on my heart. It might not even be the Torah portion. It might be something else that the Spirit is moving in the earth realm and He says, “This is what we want to do.” It’s all about relationship! This is what we’re trying to impress upon you. The whole purpose of this is to create a relationship with one another and with Yahweh Himself. This is the golden rule, to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s what this whole process is all about. It’s creating relationships.
SUMMARY AND HOMEWORK
All right, know the material. Take it seriously. Because once you know the material, and you bring this into the Shabbat, it’s going to be very easy. It’s all about the foundation. We’ve got some homework and some testing. This is what we have done in our family and the results are amazing. For all of you family leaders, this is not going to be a sheet of paper that you go through. It’s going to be an exercise for the entire family.
In the middle of the entire Bible is this verse, “It is better to trust in Yahweh than to put confidence in men.” Isn’t that incredible? Out of all the 1000s of verses of Scripture, the one in the very center says to put your trust in the Lord. And when you do that, you are not putting your confidence in man, and everything else is added unto you. Here’s what I want you to do. The homework assignment. Don’t tell your family what the center verse of the Bible is. I want you to gather your family together, and then everyone goes to Psalms 118. Everyone read all 29 verses and tell each person to pick out what they think is the middle verse of the Bible. When everyone has ‘their’ verse, ask each one why they picked out that verse and why they believe that it is the most important verse in the Bible? Finally, ask each person: if God could give one single verse, one message to mankind, what would it be?
What is beautiful about this is that if your family has never done this, if you are not used to doing this, it creates a very comfortable atmosphere where everyone has the chance to talk, everyone has a chance to share their thoughts. Everyone is thinking deeply, from the perspective of God. This is something that needs to happen more often. We’re so good at interpreting the Scripture from our own perspective and getting stuff out of the Scriptures that we want to get out of it. But rarely do we think from Yahweh’s perspective. What we are teaching the family, without preaching at them, is to look at Scripture from Yah’s perspective. Kids, wives, everybody, look at it from God’s perspective and discover what is important for Him to convey? Once they begin to do that, it is fascinating. Even our nine-year-old now does this! In the beginning, we started with picking out three verses, and she picked out three verses of what she thought was most important.
But the whole purpose of the Bible study is very simple. We must look from God’s perspective, what’s most important to him? It is important for each one in the family to share. Then, after everyone has had their say, go back to Psalm 118:8 and read that outloud: “It says, it is better to trust in the LORD than to put our confidence man”. After you share that this verse is the center of the bible, ask the question ‘why’ Why is this the most important thing to God? There are all these other things that are important too, such as “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” That’s a great verse too. Talk about it. Talk about why it’s important. Let the Holy Spirit lead.
However, when you get to Psalm 118:8, and it says, “Better to put your trust in the Lord,” note that the reason is because trust is faith. Faith is the kingdom language. It is the magic key that opens the power of God in this earth realm. When God looks to and from and sees that this man trusts me, then God works for that man. When those men called Caleb and Joshua, say, “Look, those giants are grasshoppers. We may be grasshoppers to them, but they’re grasshoppers to us.” And God says, “I’m killing the giants on their behalf because I can’t believe that they just trust me that greatly, and they have never even met me.” How much more can we teach our children through this Scripture, ‘Better to trust in Yahweh than to put your confidence in man.’ You know what? Man is going to fail. Look right in the eyes of your children and tell them: “Daddy is going to fail, you don’t put your confidence in me. I want to never fail you, but I’m going to fail you. So, when I and mom make mistakes, recognize that we’re not the standard.”
Do you see where you can go with this? It’s amazing where you can go with this. We’re not the standard, Yahweh is the standard. You look to Him. When you see your mother and I have issues, or you see dad making a mistake or you see mom making a mistake, you trust in Yahweh. Don’t put your confidence in a man or in a woman. Don’t put it in parents. Put it in God because he’ll never let you down.
Do you see what you’re doing? You’re establishing a connection in them that bypasses the frail humanity of our own mistakes. We want our kids to respect us but look past us. Do you hear that? We need our kids to get to a place where they look past us and into the arms and the eyes of the Father. The only way you can do that is to teach them that the heart of Yahweh is where you put your trust. Don’t put it in us. The moment you create the atmosphere that mom and dad are perfect is the moment you lose their relationship with God because now it’s through you. Their relationship with God cannot be through you. It must be with you. And there’s a big difference.
This is why when pastors or leaders fall, so many people give up on their walk with God because their walk with God was through those people. You see, the only walk with God that you should have is through Christ. And when we teach them that, we’ve taught them everything. The whole Bible has been taught through that.
So, this is the first lesson that I want you to teach to your children, to your family. Convey to them, discuss it with them, show them the heart of the Father. The heart of the Father is the heart of the Shabbat. It’s as if God says, “Hey, you don’t understand the Sabbath everybody. You don’t understand I rested on the seventh day not because I’m not capable of working 1000 days in a row. I rested because I know you need a good example. I’m your Daddy, I’m your Abba, and I rested, only to show you how to do it. And that if you trust me, that the Shabbat is set apart, and it’s made for you. If you trust me in that, and just stop working and spend time with me and reconnect with your family, you will see the glory of God show up in your home. Just trust me. Don’t put your confidence in yourself, trust me.”
When you begin the process of disseminating this one concept to your family, and your family gets it… it will be transforming! Then, when life happens, when someone dies in your family, or finances dwindle or something else happens – well, go back and visit that verse. Remind them of the heartbeat of Yahweh – remind them of the center verse of God. Because if Yeshua is the Word made flesh, then Yeshua is the ‘center’ – He is the center Heart of the Bible. We trust in Yeshua.
Remember, Proverbs 3:5-6? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path (or make your paths straight).” This verse and Psalm 118:8 can be used together.
It’s time that we transform our families by turning on the light of our own hearts. And that comes with spiritual preparation. It also comes with an actual application. Let’s put the two of them together!
Blessings and shalom!
Passion For Truth Ministries
Jim’s life’s desire is to help believers everywhere draw closer to the Father by understanding the truth of the scriptures from their original cultural context (a Hebraic perspective) and to apply them in faith for today.