Weekly Thought – September 3, 2013
Fred thoroughly enjoyed Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. One of Charlie’s famous statements was: “Except for the books you read and the people you meet, you will be the same person in five years that you are today.” Fred believed association was key to the healthy development, as was reading. He believed in personal growth through the iron sharpening iron method.
As you pray for the BWFLI event at East Texas Baptist University, would you ask the Lord to direct the preparation both on campus through the leadership of Dr. Emily Prevost and the team members who will be arriving October 22nd? They go to initiate conversations and create connections.
Leading and Learning
One of the high points for me was being part of a gathering that included Ray Stedman and fifteen of the country’s top preachers. The topic of discussion was the future and encouragement of effective expository preaching. Heady stuff for this layman!
During one lunch, I was moved most deeply moved. Stephen Olford said, “My brothers, I am weary of celebrity religion. I have had my share of recognition, but if when I die my family doesn’t say, ‘There was something of the Spirit of the Lord in that man,’ I have failed.” Spontaneously, a solid round of amens circled the lunch table. Finishing well came into clearer focus at that moment.
These leaders had developed the process that turns knowledge into wisdom. Again, I saw the truth that great leaders do not seek to impress others. Their commitment to the Lord and their leadership position melds into maturity. Interestingly, leadership requires maturity, but it also produces it. As we know, maturity is one of the rewards of leadership.
For those who have the talent to lead, leadership provides great fulfillment. I can think of few things more frustrating to one with leadership gifts than the denial of the opportunity to lead. This doesn’t mean needing to be in charge or take control. It means the opportunity to use their gifts and talents. Can you imagine the pitiful situation if a Rubenstein had never touched the keys of a Steinway?
Running the race and finishing well includes leading for those so talented. Being all God created them to be requires taking hold of these responsibilities. When Paul told the Ephesians each of us was designed for particular work and moreover, God had already created those opportunities for the use of that design, he included leadership. Leadership is God’s workmanship.
I am convinced the much desired “well done” is the response prompted by the full and satisfactory use of the God-given gifts. It has no measure in worldly goods, social status, or popular acclaim. It is simply the good and productive use of those gifts so long ago bestowed. When people ask me my definition of success I tell them: “the ratio of gifts given to the gifts used.”
This week think carefully about: 1) What is my success ratio? 2) Who am I leading? 3) What is my unique gift?
Words of Wisdom: “Leadership is God’s workmanship.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity. With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you.” (1 Chronicles 29:17 NET Bible)