5 Things Every Young Pastor/Leader Should Live By

People ask me all the time "How did you get to where you are?" or "What advice would you offer to someone young pursuing full time ministry?" I've been asked so many times that I decided to share publicly. Here are 5 NON NEGOTIABLE principles that my family and I do ministry with below! Hope this helps you on your journey towards destiny.


1. Full Obedience: Didn't matter if the church/city was big or small, We obeyed God in every season. From 30 members in Ft Worth, to 2500 members in Dallas, 600 members in Upstate NY, or 300 members in Orlando. Our heart has always been to obey God!


2. Family First: My wife and children have and will always be my FIRST MINISTRY! Making them happy and keeping them healthy has always been a greater priority to me than any ministry that I have had the privilege of overseeing! 


3. Humility: Because my wife and I both come from such extreme dysfunctional childhoods. We use the pain of our past as fuel towards our future. Our past also keeps us very humble because we are fully persuaded that if it had not been for the Lord that was on our side, we would be nothing. I have a personal motto that I live by, "Stay humble, Stay hungry"!


4. Honor, Honor, Honor: This might be the most important thing on the entire list! The people that God has allowed to pour into my life receive my respect, my love, and most importantly, honor! I have quickly learned in life that honor is the currency paid for elevation and promotion. I have never allowed myself to become common with any leader, mentor, or pastor that God has ever placed in my life to pour into me! 


5. Unique: This has been the hardest thing for me. Remaining true to the unique individual that God has crafted me to be in ministry. For years I would mimic my mentors and try to do ministry in the style in which they did it in. I quickly learned that there could only be one Dr. Chris Hill and one Bishop TD Jakes. So I was forced to be Onterio Green and I found out that when I operate in the highest and greatest expression of my own self, the unique approach that God has placed in my heart to do ministry is extremely effective! 


Practicing these 5 principles has truly protected my family, my anointing, my relationships, and my calling to do ministry! Do a self examination to see if maybe implementing any of these can help you pursue purpose better!

How to Transition Well

I recently celebrated over 10 years this past August in my young full-time ministry career. In that time frame, my family and I have seen the likes of states like Texas, New York, Florida, and Missouri where we have found ourselves on staff at some great churches. Which means, we know a thing or two about how to transition. I’ll be the first to admit, I have made a few mistakes when switching seasons, but I think my Sr Pastors will say, for the most part, that I did so the right way. Here are a few great points to remember the next time you feel God leading you to switch assignments.


1. Pray… 

Transitioning is a really big deal, It should always be met with some serious time spent in prayer. Every single time we have transitioned from one assignment to the next, we have always spent at least two to four weeks in prayer and in fasting. We look for two things during that time. One, confirmation! Either through God’s word, a word of God from someone else, or through God speaking through our mentors. Two, a consistent peace! We have learned that God will give us both peace about when and where He is taking us next. Fasting helps to push past flesh and get right to the heart of God, and that’s what you want most, God’s heart for your future.  


2. Your Sr Leadership should be the first to know.

When it's comes down to it, you are not the Sr Pastor, that means the people you oversee belong to that Pastor, not you! I see too many people make the mistake of believing they have the right to put their own plan into motion when it comes to who and when they share that they will be transitioning. It's always important to remember that you will be leaving soon, and your Sr Pastor will still be there Pastoring the people you will be leaving. Therefore, it's imperative that you let your Sr Leadership make the call of who should know and when they should know!


3. Know where you are going BEFORE you announce you will be leaving.

Knowing that you are leaving is half the battle, knowing where God is sending you next is the other half! PLEASE, do yourself, and your family the justice of securing the next assignment (that means agreed upon teams and conditions in writing.) My heart goes out to the guys who get spooky spiritual in transitional moments about where they are going next, especially when there are is a wife and children involved! Your children alone warrant you to take your time to secure where you are heading next! 


4. Once you make the announcement public, everything changes. 

Be prepared for the members, co workers, and even possibly your Sr leadership to change how they feel about you! There’s something about leaving that creates a sense of betrayal and distrust towards the one leaving! Once you let your Sr. Pastor know that you will be transitioning, the ball is no longer in your court. From the timeline of when you should actually leave to when you should tell the people you oversee, that decision now belongs to your Sr Pastor. This can be really tough for some people, but you must trust the Sr Pastor’s heart in the matter. Remember, God called you to serve the vision of the Sr Pastor there. It’s his church to lead and Pastor, not yours. 


5. Don’t Throw dirt on your way out. 

Sowing seeds of discord or speaking negative of the church or leadership will only hurt those that you once were entrusted to led. Making your problems other peoples problems on your way out is the quickest way to not have God bless your next season. Also, try not to speak negative about the Leadership to your next set of leaders. When you do so, that Sr Pastor will have a hard time trusting you. He will fear that you will talk about him the same way if and when you have to leave. No matter how much you feel that you should defend yourself on your way out the door, DON’T!! Keep your mouth closed and say nothing negative. The worst thing in the world that you could do is to cause a little one to stumble. It would be a shame if you caused a church member there to leave the church, or even worst, leave church all together and disconnect from the body of Christ because of a spirit of offense that you passed to them on the way out. Somethings are just more important than proving a point or winning a fight.


6. Have an exit meeting with your Sr Leader if possible.

I have learned so much from my Sr Leaders at my past churches. There is a level of honesty and transparency that comes with transition that could be a blessing to you if you humble yourself to be able to receive it. Some of the greatest changes I needed to make to become a better Pastor and Staff Member have come out during my exit meetings. I’m a better person and Pastor because of it. Have the courage to ask for a few suggestions that would make you a better leader/pastor. You would be surprised how much it could help you in your next assignment. 


7. Leave Alone.

Unless your Sr Leadership is planting or launching a new campus with you, you don’t get to take any of the people from the church. Think of it this way. Those people, no matter how much they love you, belong to that church and the Sr Pastor. For you to allow people to leave with you is not only wrong, but selfish and irresponsible. Starting a church or ministry with people who left the church will only lead to them finding a problem with you at some point and leaving you for another leader. We will always reap what we sow. If someone ask you can they leave with you. Say NO…. Encourage them to stay plugged in. Trust me, God will bless your next assignment when you don't steal from your last one. Those people belong to that church and that Sr Pastor. 


In conclusion, never let transition make you bitter, angry, or cause you to lose faith in the Body of Christ. We are all still just one big body, but with many different expressions. Be carful not to allow one church’s expression cause your heart to turn from the institution of The Local Church. It has been and still is our greatest hope for the future of mankind.

7 Ways To Overcome Temptation

I get so many people asking me "what is the best way as a Young Adult to fight Temptation". Check out these 7 steps to overcoming temptation 

1.  Identify my top temptation(s). Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. 

- Knowing what you struggle with is half the battle

- What you don’t know wont hurt you, but it could actually kill you


2.  Where am I when I fall. David And Bathsheba, Sampson and Delilah 

- Your physical position will effect your spiritual condition


3.  Share your temptation with someone who can help you. James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

- Friends don’t let friends stay in sin


4.  Resist your temptation. James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

- Hebrews 12: 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 


5.  Memorize scripture. Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 

- Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. 

- The word will keep you when you don’t wanna be keep.


6.  Fast and Pray.

Matthew 17:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.


7.  Worship. 

- It is impossible for the enemy to attack your mind when it is consumed by worship

Building Millennial Ministry Momentum

In my time doing Millennial Ministry to both Youth and Young Adults over the last decade, I’ve learned the importance of building a thriving system that promotes both numeric and spiritual growth. Over the years I’ve seen and celebrated lots of individual “one off” events and services until I began to see the power or creating consistent success. As we began to learn how to string together multiple victories, we started to see the “BIG MO” come into play, and from that we watched God bless the ministry greatly. Some people treat ministry momentum as if it is something that prayer alone will bring. But I honestly feel that if we added a plan as we pray, God will move on what we are doing in a much greater way.


Here are 10 ways to build Millennial Ministry Momentum that I taught at The International Pastors and Leaders Conference 2016:


(1) Scheduled meetings with the core leaders and volunteers  

I’ve found that when my team knows the details of my plans as a leader, they can support it much better. Most good leaders like a sense of being informed before the masses know what’s happening. The quickest way to kill momentum is to not inform the muscles behind the machine, especially when you are expecting them to flex

(2) Echoing the vision early and often

Most Millennial’s have major long-term commitment issues. Reminding them of where you are heading and why will go a long way in ensuring the level of focus needed to finish strong and for them to stay engaged. This also weeds out any rabbit trail ideas brought to the table. If it doesn't line up with the vision that you are echoing, it makes it much easier to stay focused on your goals. Nothing can slow momentum like broken focus.

(3) Treat base hits like home runs

I go crazy over the smallest victories. Waiting to see home runs before you choose to celebrate could take too long. Find something that has gone well… ANYTHING… then take it before your group and go crazy about it. Someone got saved , go crazy! Someone gets a promotion or a new job, celebrate it! This conditions the mind of the people following you that not only are you as a leader a winner, but so are they. And tell me one person who doesn't want to follow a ministry with a winning spirit that makes them feel like a winner too. Everyone loves to win. 

(4) Make every big event point to the next big event

This might just be the single most important key to building the “BIG MO”. Being able to get a large crowd is pretty tough to do all by it’s self, getting that crowd back into the build again could be even harder to do. When planning your events, be sure to contemplate where you would like to go next. Then with whats next in mind, plan marketing around pointing to the next big event/service coming up. Even if it’s months away, you can’t afford NOT to cash in on the room full of people and the fact that you have their attention to get them excited about what’s next.   

(5) Over hype/sale everything

When trying to build momentum, marketing is such a key component. Building the content is good, but making sure that the content is pushed out to the masses is such a critical step. The more content the better, the more post, the better. And the sooner you can get the marketing out on the event the better. I have found that sometimes people may not like the amount of marketing that we push at times, but one thing is for certain. They will KNOW when and where our ext event will be because we over sale/hype everything. 

(6) Hosting Social Media Parties

 Send out a group message to your entire team. Let them know that you would like all of them to post to social media all at the same time with the same content. This creates a buzz on social media, not only with your followers, but with the followers of all of your leadership team.

(7) Propitiate all big wins   

If and when you have a sizable victory, find a way to ride the wave as long as you can. This could mean spending an extra week or so on the current series. Maybe adding an extra day to what was a successful event. And most important, talk about the win as much as possible… EVERYWHERE you have an audience.

(8) Celebrate your team members  

Your team has to be just as much of a priority as the dream. Keeping them happy and feeling appreciated is a key component to them not checking out on your vision. Most people leave our teams, not because they no longer have time or they are burned out. They leave for the lack of appreciation and celebration. Schedule times where you make it your business to celebrate your team members. Send an occasional personal message telling them what you appreciate about them, believe me, it goes a long way. Otherwise, they will find someone else to help build ministry momentum with.

(9)  Spend more time celebrating the wins and less time crying over the loses

Nothing wrong with talking about what went wrong, but there is something wrong with “dwelling and retelling” what went wrong. Let’s just go ahead and establish the fact that there will be some failures along the road to building ministry momentum, but the worst thing you could do is to spend too much time focusing on the negatives. It has a way of spreading to your entire team and also your followers. Find a way to keep the attention on the positives and not the negatives.

(10) Pray and prophesy over your leaders

Pay very close attention to leaders who follow you that will not allow you to speak into their lives or pray over them. It usually will not be with their words, but with their actions or emotional dispositions. This is usually an indicator of a loss of respect orWhen building momentum, It is vital that you and your team are all on one accord. If you sense a disconnect from one of your team members, address it quickly before it spreads to any of the other team members. A Good rhythm of prayer with your team will usually be enough to keep the team grounded.