In my mind, this post should go without saying. I’ve been reminded that it doesn’t. I just read a mini-article on the subject by Robert Clinton. He states that what we are considering here is a vanishing breed. He calls them “Bible-Centered Leaders.” But in the midst of the article, he states that leaders should have an “appropriate, unique, lifelong plan for mastering the Word in order to use it with impact in their ministries.”
Simple question – have you made a personal commitment to a lifelong pursuit of mastery of the Bible? Clinton refers to the Navigator’s five-finger approach, then his personal “core books” approach. I have a foundation and brick wall approach. The specifics don’t matter here. The question is, do you have a specific, describable, tangible, practical, effective plan to pursue mastery of the Word of God?
We have too many preachers and pastors and leaders and influencers in the church today who are informed by contemporary bestsellers, educated both in Christian and secular approaches to ministry or organizational leadership, up-to-date on cutting edge ministry ideas, pragmatically plugged in to the busy schedule of life, connected to an insane level, thoroughly saturated in networking media, blessed beyond belief by access to a library not even dreamed about in history, functioning in overload on multiple levels . . . but, good as some of these things may be, fundamentally weak on the core need of anyone seeking to be a man of God – mastery of, and by, the Word.
Can you take a piece of paper and write down your strategy for mastering the Word of God, and in the process, being mastered by it? Can you write down where you are in the process? Can you immediately state your current study focus in this pursuit? Can you identify several areas of biblical weakness, as well as some specific areas of relative strength?
If not, what is more important? Why not put aside the pressing, urgent, busy stuff and take some time to drive a marker into the ground, to prayerfully make plans and to set out on that journey? If we are not gripped with a passion to master the Word of God, what is our goal? To be a paperback preacher? To be an e-networked pastor? To be upwardly mobile on the ministry ladder? These all seem so fragile compared to the real need of the church today – leaders who passionately pursue God in His Word, who sacrifice to master it, who are continually more mastered by it, who have genuine substance, who are “thoroughly equipped for every good work.”