One of the joys of traveling and speaking in multiple countries is meeting influential leaders and learning from their wisdom. One such leader is Bobbie Houston, co-pastor with her husband, Brian Houston, of Hillsong Church in Sydney Australia and of multiple global churches. Phil Cooke, (my husband) and I were honored to speak and work with their staff and Hillsong University students at their Sydney location. Brian and Bobbie then invited us to join them for lunch and conversation.

At the time, I was about to launch a women’s conference in LA that I co-directed for 3 years called, ASCEND. Since Bobbie is the founder of the largest women’s Christian conference globally, COLOR Conference, I took the opportunity to ask her what she thought was the most important thing that should be focused on when putting on a women’s event. Without hesitation, she said “it’s about Jesus. Every conference has to lift up the name of Jesus or it fails – it’s just another event” She said, “many event planners want to focus on the theme, the fun events within the conference, or the media and music, but if Jesus is not lifted up you’ve failed. Even all the good you can do – money you raise for causes or ministry programs that you might showcase – sex trafficking, foster care for children, substance abuse centers – none of it matters if Jesus isn’t lifted up.”

I took it to heart not just for events, but for everything we who believe in Jesus endeavor to do. It’s a word we need to apply to all areas of our lives and in our careers. If we really want to follow the mentorship of Jesus and His command – love one another it starts with lifting up the name of Jesus.

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. John 12:32 (NIV)

Stop and re-evaluate. What are you doing today to lift up the name of Jesus? Build His agenda, His event, His Kingdom first.