Wayne Jacobsen Needs to Disappear

Now, don’t take that headline too literally!

I’m not. But I do hope it makes a point.

Before I get to that point, however, let me tell you how overwhelmingly grateful I am for those of you who recommend my books, websites, or podcast to others. Since we don’t do advertising here, word-of-mouth is the only way my books get passed along to new people they might encourage. Without that I’d keep writing to the same audience. Thank you for quoting them, reviewing them, or recommending them to others. Your willingness to pass it on makes a big difference in whether a book or podcast finds its way to those who will benefit from it. Didn’t most of you first hear of something that deeply touched you from someone else it had touched first?

However, the things I have written and said over the last twenty years were designed to help people discover a life in Jesus that is rich with his presence, and flows in love through them to others near them. I realize that God has given me a gift to put into words what he has already been showing others. Though they may not have found the words to verbalize it yet, they recognize what he’s been saying to them in words I’ve written. I’ve heard that over and over and I want you to know how much that has encouraged me—to know that some of the things on my heart have been woven into the fabric of Jesus’ family all over the world.

What I most hope for, however, is that those things become such a part of someone else’s journey that they no longer remember where they came from and share what they have learned in their own words, as part of their own story. Share as if Jesus had shown it to you because he most assuredly has. It may have been through the words of another, but when people actually begin to live beyond true principles and connect with him, they will incarnate his truth in their own story and not merely quote others.

That’s what I mean by Wayne Jacobsen needs to disappear. When people are excited about what they are discovering, it’s easy to refer over and over again to the person whose words or encouragement have helped them see it. “Wayne Jacobsen said…”, or Dallas Willard, or Brennan Manning.  It can be anybody, really. People who are not already partial to your story will grow weary of hearing that same name repeated again and again and will eventually be distracted from what you’re actually saying because they wonder if you’ve been brainwashed by some new guru. I’ve seen that look in someone’s eye as I’m being introduced to them. They are sick of hearing my name and we haven’t even met yet!

Now, I get why people do it. Some are not wanting to take credit for someone else’s thoughts. Others are blessed to find someone outside themselves to validate what they are learning.  “This is not just my crazy idea, I read it in Beyond Sundays.” Others are simply encouraging their friends to resources that were helpful to them. Unfortunately it often has the opposite effect of making it look like you’re just excited about another author as you chase down the latest fad. Wouldn’t it be better if you took the things you’re learning from Jesus and just shared it as part of your story? Don’t worry about crediting to me, even if you’re using my words. If they have resonated with his Spirit in you, maybe they were not my words to begin with.

I heard someone last week repeat a sentence I’ve often used without a hint of awareness that they were quoting me. They had obviously forgotten where it came from and had become part of them. I love that. Who it came through was no longer important; the truth it expressed was. I don’t need the credit and I’d much prefer that people see the truth as coming from Jesus, not from me. When your story makes someone else hungry and they are curious about the resources that have helped you, that’s a good time to recommend a book or author.

And let’s be clear here. I’m not talking about people taking other people’s words and plagiarizing them to craft books or sermons without attributing the source. I’ve had my words, stolen by others only to build their own empire. When you claim someone’s work as you’re own you’re only being advancing the kingdom of darkness with your own vanity and dishonesty.

But I hope my larger point is not lost. When something true about Jesus takes root in your heart, share it freely with others. The power is in what’s true, not who originally put it to words. Perhaps this is what John the Baptist felt when his own disciples warned him that Jesus was becoming more popular than he was. John’s response must have shocked them. He wasn’t threatened at all for he saw himself only as the friend of the groom, not the groom himself.  “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.  He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3)

I love it when my input into the life of another person disappears into a deeper relationship with Jesus himself. I love it when they share about the cross or the nature of Jesus in their own words and with their own illustrations. That draws the attention back to Jesus to whom this kingdom belongs. He’s the one who wants to take shape in you. Discipleship is not a matter of following the wisdom or principles that someone else teaches, but of recognizing his work in you and following him as he loves the world through you. Don’t be in a hurry. This takes some time to see with our hearts into his world and his way of doing things. Letting him show you, however, is one of the greatest adventures of being human.

The fellowship I have with him is what I want everyone to experience and what I hope they pass on in their conversations with others.

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12 Comments
  1. Karl Ingersol March 8, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Thanks Wayne. So true … beautiful.

  2. Betty March 8, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    As I was reading your post, I thought of John the Baptist and then you mentioned him! That was nice. I have often been fed by his humble spirit. I am enjoying Beyond Sundays and have recommended it already to several of my friends. Thanks for the freedom that I feel from knowing that it’s not that we are right and “they” are wrong. In either side. It’s just about being knit together with all because He will only have one bride. Thanks for putting it into words!

  3. Shay March 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    I am finding this in my own life right now. At one time I listened faithfully to so many of your podcasts, some over and over, because I needed to hear, like you said, that this was not just something I was dealing with and these ideas and insights I was getting as I read the Bible were not just from my own mind. I needed to hear the stories from others on this journey and I still do, but I find myself trusting more now what I hear from Father on my own than I ever have in my life, because His voice is replacing the other voices that were so loud in my head. I just noticed one day that I hadn’t picked up So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore or listened to a podcast in a few weeks. And because of this, I felt empowered in my own journey with Christ. Thank you for not trying to control people with your own viewpoint, but encouraging us to be patient, listen and trust our Father, and to let Him bring about the change and connections that He knows so well we need. Our family loves you, Wayne and we are grateful.

  4. Susan Mckinney March 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks Wayne! Needed to hear this! Just moved back to Vegas, where my husband and I were very involved in organized church for over 7 years. God had taken us out of here 9 1/2 years ago, to another state, and stripped us out of religion, and put us on a path of “Living Loved”. Coming back here has been a little scary, because our liked minded friends were left behind, and most of our friends here are involved in organized church. I have already been asked, “So where are you going to attend church”? Ugh!

    Well Here is what God has shown me! Live Loved, Love others, don’t get angry, don’t judge others choices to be in church or the like (big one there), show others the joy of Living Loved.

    I have to admit that I have recommended to a friend your books, but I totally have been feeling the Spirit telling me to just show others how to live! I myself no longer really read others books, just because I feel sometimes the truth of God’s word gets so distorted. Thanks so much for your words because I truly believe God is showing me conformation on what you just spoke. Blessings!

  5. Paul Hayden March 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    John the Baptizer’s words – John 3:30 “HE MUST INCREASE, AND I MUST DECREASE!” This is so important – glad you see and know and share this! This is one of the biggest downfalls of the church through the ages – men drawing followers to themselves. Pastors/teachers are to work their way out of a job, bringing others into maturity through the grace of God. So glad to have known you and read some of your precious words in your books, before you disappear…

  6. Ian March 9, 2018 at 12:19 am

    How wonderfully refreshing to read your blog; and releasing. I often quote things that have I read that have really excited me and then wonder if I ever have an original thought! But maybe that is just the way the Spirit speaks to me through others.
    At the beginning of our journey outside traditional church I felt strongly that it would be great to have a “guest speaker” at church and after he had gone realise that we were never told his name. We would then only pursue the message not the messenger. Of course it wouldn’t work commercially for the speaker or author. And now you are effectively saying something similar which is not only humble but brave. Thank you – you are a breath of fresh air and we are privileged to know you.

  7. Pat Fletcher March 9, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Thanks Wayne for being a “father” to so many of us who are walking this path.
    More times than I can count over these past 20 years, your words of wisdom have
    encouraged my heart. You are a breath of fresh air, a true gift to the Body of Christ!

  8. Paul McLeod March 11, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Hi Wayne. I ‘ve been a follower of your inspired revelations since 2006. May I go off topic
    for just a sec? I’ve just read 9 O’Clock in the morning by Dennis Bennet, one of the
    forerunners of the 60’s to ? Ecumenical Movement? My question would be to you
    as follows: If the Holy Spirit blew away barriers between every imaginable denomination
    then, with people receiving Christ, healings of every kind, and special infilling of the
    Holy Spirit, systems and structures remaining intact,what has changed in your opinion
    between then and now? My research indicates that this movement was at or near global
    proportions. AS Jesus Christ is the same…..etc.,I’m wondering if God uses different approaches
    in different eras. Obvious answer would be yes, but I’m curious as to your take on then vs the
    “outside the walls” movement now.

    • Wayne Jacobsen March 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      That would be an interesting conversation to spring on Brad during a future God Journey podcast. What is the difference this time? Though the move of the Spirit was incredibly polarizing. If congregations accepted the fresh wind of the Spirit that was awesome, but many others rejected it and people were forced to leave. So there were lots of splits and lots of new congregations formed back then. I wonder if this time it is less about a fresh wind of the Spirit, but a recognition that our old religious forms are simply not the way God works. Thanks for the suggestion, Paul.

  9. Paul March 13, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for that Wayne. I was struggling with the “God doesn’t change”, but cultures, faith communities sure do, sometimes
    in questionable ways. Accepting people for the purpose of loving them into the faith is one thing, but accepting what they bring with them is another. So thanks for that again. One last note, if you get PNW (Prophecy News Watch) todays missive is a
    shocker. Bless you dear bro. We are all mere mortals, but have an annointing from The Holy One.

  10. Paul March 13, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Just a follow up note, the author in the aforementioned book, did do some due diligence in reporting, but I would suspect that he may have been so “caught up”, being at the nucleus of it all, that he may have either unintentionally overlooked the fallout or otherwise. From my previous, I mentioned “systems and structures remaining intact”. That gives added credence to your insightful comment “but a recognition that our old religious forms are simply not the way God works.” I would imagine there’s a very measurable element of opposition in what you’re doing/saying, but the way it resonates with people is the proof in the pudding. It’s by the Spirit, that resonance. I will certainly listen to your next? podcast.

  11. Janet Garber March 16, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Wayne, this is just one more reason why we love you so much! You are not attempting to build an empire or create followers faithful to yourself. You are continually pointing to our Father, to Jesus, to His Kingdom, to our ability to be led directly by Him. You nailed it in so many ways in this article. I have been so excited to have found someone that can verbalize what my heart feels, that I sound like a Wayne Jacobsen acolyte and need to be careful about that. Your writings have had such a profound impact on my spiritual journey but your humbleness makes what you’re teaching even more valid. Thanks, Wayne!

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