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Monday, November 5, 2012

Poor Answer

Have you ever been asked a question for which you would like to change your answer?  In June of 2011, I had the opportunity to lead a series of workshops for a portion of a large ministry.  The focus of the weekend was on the leaders of this segment of the ministry and my assignment was to encourage them to increase their focus on Bible Study.  This was in the context of a focus on training the leadership of this organization.
When you are asked a hard question - do you ever wish you could change your answer later?
During one of the sessions one of the men asked something like, “So are you saying that training is Bible Study?”  The answer of course is no.  There is more to training for ministry than Study.  However, the context of the question and the answer is crucial.  There was resistance in that group to promoting deep study of the Word of God.  There were segments of that group that had decided large portions of Scripture were not worthy of attention.  There were segments of that group that were enamored of teachers and books that present as truth that which is not.  So while my answer was accurate.  I did not reinforce the truth that needed reinforcing strongly enough.

It matters.  A cursory look at the passages that enumerate the qualifications for leadership in the Church, 1 Timothy 3:1 – 13 and Titus 1:5 – 2:1, reveal that a leader must have a strong handle on the Word of God.  Not only familiar with the content of the Scripture but the doctrinal implications of that content.  So while it is true that there is more to learning to lead than Bible Study, it is also true that the constant digging in the Word of God not only for ministry but more importantly for one’s own growth is foundational and essential to not just effectiveness but continued qualification for leadership.

This is not just applicable to pastors, elders, deacons, and whatever else your local community may call your leaders, but it is also incumbent on each of us as members of a body.  We are all, at some level leaders, if not of a community, at least in our sphere of influence be it a family, our work, or our neighborhood.  It matters.

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