Serving with Knowledge, Gena McCown
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 For learning what wisdom and discipline are;
for understanding insightful sayings;
3 for receiving wise instruction
in righteousness, justice, and integrity;
4 for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,[a]
knowledge and discretion to a young man—
5 a wise man will listen and increase his learning,
and a discerning man will obtain guidance—
6 for understanding a proverb or a parable,[b]
the words of the wise, and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
“For Christian leaders, this truth goes much deeper: to be effective in your actions of leadership, you must first and foremost have a personal and in-depth knowledge of God and His Word. Your knowledge of His truth is more important than anything else in your preparation.” ~ Jeff McMaster
When we step up into leadership, we are taking on an awesome responsibility. People are going to look to us for answers, but we are also going to be watched by our critics. It is important for Christian Leaders to have knowledge about a few key elements. Christian leaders need to have knowledge about communication with people, knowledge of requirements of their position, and most importantly the knowledge of the Lord.
To know God’s will for the ministry you serve on, or for your role as leader, we must begin first in His Word. We meditate on the scriptures so that we know more of God, we also look at how those scriptures address the calling God put on our life. Learning from the scriptures is not a one time event, but a life long pursuit of studying to gain further knowledge.
As we come to a deeper knowledge of His Word, we will begin to see how the great leaders of Bible history are described. We can learn from their successes and mistakes to shape the leader we are going to become. By continually learning, we are continually being refined in our role as leader. As the love of the Lord is revealed in the scriptures we learn more about how we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are our enemies.
Additionally, the more we know about the scriptures will shape our integrity as a leader. We learn that we do not need to have all the answers, or be perfect. Knowledge is freedom, because it reminds us that we are still a work in progress that is being perfected over time. Our knowledge will help others trust us. We are also put into a position to witness to people just through the way we live our day to day lives.
There are many great books out there on leadership skills and qualities. There are books on how to run an effective ministry, plan a retreat, and fundraise. We have been gifted resources all over the internet to help us learn more about the on the job skills required of being a ministry leader.
The best book to start in is, The Bible. Be a student of The Word. This doesn’t mean that you have to memorize every scripture in the Old and New Testament, but rather you have a familiarity with the scriptures. This familiarity is what will help you when someone comes to you for advice or information, because even if you don’t know the appropriate scriptures off the top of your head… you know where to begin your search. Knowing the scriptures will also help you identify sin in your life, or errors you may be making as leader.
There was a short time in my leadership history that wasn’t so pretty. I had allowed myself to get caught up in gossip, but I was unable to recognize it as such. The context of the conversations didn’t seem like gossip, nothing being said was untrue, and we were all serving together. I was reading the scriptures one night, and there it was in flashing neon lights. My sin was revealed in His Word. Once I was able to see it, I was able to address it. The scriptures not only showed my sin, but I was also directed on how to address it.
I would encourage you add to your knowledge bank by beginning to look through the scriptures for leadership qualities, and weigh yourself against them. Where can you improve, pray for discernment, and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you. Pray also that the Lord would keep this knowledge rooted in a spirit to serve others. Otherwise we risk falling into pride, or becoming academic and sacrificing relationship for more knowledge.
Pray for God to reveal mentors or accountability partners that can help you walk through your journey as a leader.