TD Jakes — Soar Experience
Bishop Jakes: Hello, everybody, I'm excited to have this opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you. I had a great time with Pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church as we sat down and began to talk about my book, "Soar." And then beyond, to understand how to soar, the whole experience, what it takes to lead and be the man and woman of God that God is calling us to be. If you're an entrepreneur, if you're a leader, if you think you might be one one day, listen in at this conversation.
Steven Furtick: And I wonder, when did you decide not to be limited by one title or one function?
Bishop Jakes: I never knew that the way people described you would become a prison until they did it. When I met me, I was not a preacher. So, I didn't know that they would incarcerate me with the title. You are at your best when you are authentic to your core. And you have to be what you are, not what they call you. You understand what I'm saying?
Sometimes, people will call you a name, and you start living up to the name, and it limits you from what else God wants to do in your life, you know? And by the way, I get a lot of credit for inventing this, but the credit is really misplaced because when you think of the Apostle Paul, he was a writer, he was a thinker respected by the thinkers of his age at a time when there were profound thinkers in Paul's age.
Known for his ability to be progressive intellectually. He was a speaker, he was a writer, he was a tentmaker. He was able to influence Aquilla and Priscilla not because of his preaching, but because of his business. They shared the same business. And out of that business, influence and affluence, a relationship emerged that affected the kingdom.
When you look at Jesus, who was a carpenter's son, and later they called him a carpenter, he who handled wood ended up nailed to a tree. And what happens in life as we evolve as a person, we cannot allow ourself to be incarcerated by anything that people would describe us with because we limit then what the Holy Spirit can do in your life. You understand?
Steven Furtick: I do.
Bishop Jakes: Let me jump in and say just one quick thing. I think if Jesus had come in our day, he would have been a filmmaker. But because they didn't have films, he told parables. But if you think about it, parables are movies made of words. If he were to come today, he would have done films. Imagine how that would look like today.
Most of what we call church we [congregation applauding] Jesus never saw an usher, he never saw a greeting committee. Jesus never saw a choir. Jesus never met a deacon. Jesus never had a board. Jesus never had a whole lot of things that we would have to go through and say, "Now Jesus, don't sit over there, that's the reserved section. And Jesus, when you getting ready to leap, put your fingertip out."
You know, these accoutrements that attach itself to religion often block our view from revelation, yeah. And because I was raised by a dying father, born in between two dead babies, I really value the preciousness of life. The baby before me died, and the baby after me died, and my mother clutched to me as only a mother can who has lost a child. And an appreciation for the value of life, and a refusal to allow anybody to take away the great privilege of being alive.
I will think for myself. I will move in my own direction. You can say whatever you want to say about it, but I'm gonna be me. You see what I'm saying? And the core of everything "Soar" is saying, don't be limited. Don't put a period because you did one thing that you can't do something, that you can't be something else, that you can't evolve as an individual, that you can't explore other idioms of thought. You know, let me shut up because I get to talking.
Steven Furtick: No, it's great. I want to dig deeper into that because the arc of your teaching and one of the most influential messages that I've perceived from you is get out of your comfort zone. I mean, if you open your mouth, some version of that's going to come out.
Maybe from the Old Testament or maybe from a chicken's egg, you know, there's some way that you're going to tell me, "Get out of your comfort zone." I wondered, though, because I've also heard you teach so much about your capacity, that each person has a God-given capacity, for the person who is trying to decide, "Who am I? What can I do?
I don't know yet, I haven't tried yet. I think I know what I have. I don't know if I have it or not," how do we know the difference between staying in our comfort zone versus going beyond our capacity?
Bishop Jakes: You are only measured in terms of success by his investment in terms of contribution. If he gave one man one talent, and another man two talents, and another man five talents, he didn't expect the man with one talent to produce ten, but at least give me two.
The man who had two talents came back with four. The man with five talents came back with ten. The man with two talents came back with four. The man with five came back with ten. Those are the same things, that's a hundredfold. The man with one came back with nothing.
Now, the Apostle Paul says that when we compare ourselves with one another, in so doing it is not wise because we don't have the same starting place. So, if I'm going to make success predicated on what my neighbor had, that is only fair if I started with what my neighbor started with.