Why You Don't Want to Be a Copy -- More Wisdom from Jim Cymbala

I must confess that I didn't get what I expected when I sat under the teaching of Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the 16,000-member Brooklyn Tabernacle.

My pastor husband and I were attending a Pastor's Leadership Institute at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove recently. Since Cymbala was leading a pastor's seminar, and he's built one of the largest churches in the country, I thought his messages would be filled with "This is how I did it, and you can, too."

In that regard, I was right. He did share how the Lord had led him, and continues to lead him, as he shepherds his flock. What surprised me was the content of his advice. Instead of trendy new ways to reach our culture and innovative, cutting-edge gimmicks, he continually pointed us back to the basics--the foundations of the faith.

His advice for pastors is equally valuable to us as Christians who want to make a difference in the world. Without additional explanation, here are some golden apples from the feast he shared with us. May the Holy Spirit enlighten and apply them to your life.

"When we face a task that's too big for us (and most of life is), we're tempted to ask, 'Who is sufficient for these things?' I answer you, 'God is sufficient.'"

"Lead the people to God and disappear. People don't need you. They need Jesus."

In regard to denominations, "God doesn't have subgroups in his body. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. We should fellowship with everyone who is a born-again believer."

"Pray, God, help me see people the way you see them. Help me feel the way you feel about them. This will dismiss all prejudice."

"Love always finds a way."

"Whenever you add to or take away from the Gospel, you dilute its power."

"When you love someone, they know it. When you don't, they know that, too."

"People aren't being converted because we aren't preaching the Gospel. If we preach the Gospel like Paul preached the Gospel, we will win converts."

"Only Jesus can change a person."

"Just because there are counterfeit gospels doesn't mean there isn't a real one. There are counterfeiters because there IS a real thing."

"The Word without the Holy Spirit--that's some dry stuff. The Word with the Holy Spirit? It can really get good."  

"If you love them, you will confront them."

"Don't copy someone else. God wants to raise up a voice, not an echo."

And if you need further encouragement, (and who doesn't?), let the Brooklyn Tabernacle's "Chain Breaker," remind you of how Jesus is the only source of true freedom. Be blessed.

 If you're reading by email and can't see the the Brooklyn Tabernacle's rendition of "Chain Breaker," Click HERE.


  1. Lori, I've been blessed to hear Jim speak and his choir sing several times. Thank you for this great post.

    1. Ooooh, you've been blessed, too! Must be nice to live so close to the Cove!! Did you know that all their programs are FREE to attend in 2017? If you don't need accommodations, which you don't, since you live so close, then there's no cost. Unless, of course, you want to eat in their amazing dining room. And who wouldn't? Anyway, maybe you and Mr. Jim want to check it out. Lots of great speakers in the line up. Love you!!!

  2. I've never heard him speak. Love all the quotes.

    1. I never had either, Deborah, but I'm a fan. If you haven't read his first book, "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire," you need to. It will amaze you to read their story of what God did.

  3. A message full of power. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I came away from the conference full and spilling over, Barbara. What a privilege. Glad to share it with y'all :)