I was given quite a bit of leadership responsibility at a very young age. It took me quite a while to fully accept my own ability to be a leader, but nevertheless, I was still given many opportunities that don’t come around for everybody. I remember shortly after my 21st birthday having a conversation with someone that was older than me and they said the words that have been said many times… “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Upon hearing these words, young impressionable Bekah thought “I doubt that I will every feel that way!” Oh little child! How naive and utterly stupid you were! I look back and see many lesson that I learned that could have easily been avoided simply by doing something I should have been doing all along… reading and applying Scripture. *Sighs*
So, I decided to construct a little post containing three of the top Scriptures I wish I had taken more seriously in my early days of Christian leadership.
1. Proverbs 14:30 – “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Sure! Of course you’re not supposed to be envious of others. I knew this. But man, I certainly did not practice it! I spent far too much valuable time trying to figure out how I could make my abilities look like those of other people. I didn’t even realize that by trying to fit into someone else’s calling, I was in turn practicing envy. And because I was not operating in my natural abilities, I was completely drained. By being at peace with myself and what God calls me to do, I have far more energy to continue than when I try to do someone else’s job. Be who you are and be at peace with it.
2. Matthew 7:22-23 – “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out many demons and perform many miracles. 23. Then I will tell them plainly ‘I never knew you. Away from me you evil doer.”
You see, when you are a young Christian leader, full of ambition and know how and generally know the Word of God it becomes far too easy to coast on fumes of sermons and Bible classes and never truly get to know God for yourself. I was in a college theology class when this Scripture hit me upside the head and gave me a real “whoa” moment. God doesn’t care as much about what we do for Him as much as He cares about knowing us. Better yet, everything that we do for God should be an act of worship toward Him because we KNOW and LOVE Him. At the end of the day, God wants to know us personally. Everything else is just bonus.
3. I Timothy 3:6 – “He (the Christian Leader) must not be a recent convert or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgement as the devil.”
Of these three Scriptures, the lesson I learned from not applying this is the hardest. I have had friends who newly committed their lives to Christ who I pushed into leadership roles before they were ready. Why? Because I thought that serving would solidify their faith. In reality, it pushed them to commit to serving rather than to God. It pushed them to be role models when they had not fully learned to conquer their own sin. It pains me to realize the loss that occurred through my own immaturity. I thought being a disciple of Christ was more about doing and less about being. A true disciple strives to be disciplined in every aspect of life. If a new convert is not pursuing discipleship, they are susceptible to thinking “it’s all about them” instead of “it’s all about Him.” It’s a big difference and I hope that you will take this into consideration next time you see a new convert in a ministry leadership role. Encourage new believers to pursue Christ more than a platform and be a disciple before they try to make disciples.
Phewf, ok, glad that’s over. 🙂 It’s hard to go through memory lane and remember the things that could have been avoided. But that’s what life is about: Learning from our mistakes and helping others avoid making the same ones.
So how about you? What Scripture do you wish you had taken more seriously? Or what lessons did you wish you had learned as a young leader?