Lessons learned throughout your life will become the underlying assumptions to guide you. Eventually, your ministry philosophy will hinge on these life leadership lessons. While all leaders operate from a ministry philosophy, effective leaders articulate it well.
Here is a collection of tweetable lessons that have proven themselves in my life. May they encourage you, and others.
Dr. J. Robert (Bobby) Clinton is senior professor of leadership at the School of Intercultural Studies of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. This content is excerpted from his book The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development–a valuable guide for any leader’s library.
In early one-on-one Bible studies I learned to apply what I was learning or I would forget it. The phrase,
arose out of this repeated learning experience. Later, after studying spiritual gifts, I saw that this desire to apply truth came not only from my personality but also from my spiritual gift of exhortation. This simple principle has shaped all of my ministry. A corollary of this,
expresses a balanced learning philosophy.
From early experiences with discipline and in small groups in my church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, I saw that for me,
I saw the power of small groups and the dynamic of one-on-one ministry. These ministry structures were life-changing. Yet not all people were willing to accept my personal ministry. I learned to be selective in those whom I discipled in-depth. From these insights I developed a further specific principle:
If a person really wants my help I will be available to give it as long as he responds.
When someone had just made a personal decision for Christ, I learned to get that person to share it.
came out of these experiences. This principle was applied more broadly in my teaching. When people were forced to articulate what they were learning, they were taking a step of commitment toward what they were expressing.
Through parables, Jesus invited people to learn by engaging their minds. He did not deliver his teachings on a silver platter. I learned in home Bible classes that
Wherever I could, I would lead people toward truth and let them discover it.
Frank Sells imparted to me one of his ministry philosophy ideas:
This principle has forced me many times to back off from dogmatic statements or requirements.
Later, I learned about organizational leadership, and discovered that in a power conflict, the leader with higher power will usually win regardless of rightness of issue. I also learnedA PERSON CONVINCED AGAINST HIS WILL IS OF THE SAME OPINION STILL. Click To Tweet
I think you see the value in articulating life lessons to build your ministry philosophy. When I identified a lesson and was able to put it into a concise statement, that lesson usually gained added significance and was applied more consistently and widely in my ministry. I credit these statements to helping build a Godly character, stronger ministry leadership skills, and allowing life lessons to shape and accomplish God’s purposes.