5/28/10

Wisdom Starts with Humility

A scaled model of the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem.

S
o, what is the definition of wisdom? Wisdom is the capacity for supernatural insight into the true nature of things paralleled by the ability to discern a correct mode of action with a view of the results of such action.

Solomon was such a man, but the secret to his wisdom started before he had wisdom. It started with one great quality: humility. We see this immediately upon being crowned king. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said ‘ask for whatever you want Me to give you’. The Lord’s words were like having a genie in a bottle. . .whatever you want!!!! Solomon’s response to this very open ended opportunity for ANYTHING he wanted was; ‘now, o Lord my God, you have made you servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a child and do not know how to carry out my duties’(1 Kings 3:5-7).

Wow! He didn’t respond based upon a desire for wealth, possessions, women, battlefield success, a starter castle, or a Mecedes Benz that would bring the appearance of immediate success. He responded based upon the humility in recognizing his own inability to lead. He recognized it was not his ability that got him the coronation; it was the Lord’s ability. He recognized that in the world of leadership, he was a child, was immature, was lacking in what it would take to successfully lead people spiritually and politically.

All wisdom begins with humility. It starts by recognizing your own insufficiency to govern. It starts by recognizing the need for greater maturity as a leader.

5/25/10

Get Wisdom (Start of a New Series on Wisdom)


“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom”. The words of Solomon (Prov. 4), declare the supreme value and absolute necessity of wisdom to lead people successfully. Wisdom to lead is wisdom to succeed.

Without wisdom all leaders become ‘flash in the pan’ seekers of whatever will work to bring success. They tend to have a short term view of their decisions, their business, and their ministry.

Leaders with wisdom are more stable, living life from a long term perspective of what the Lord sees as success, rather than what may look like success today.

With this post I am beginning a new series on Leading with Wisdom. This will be a journey from definition to position, to acquisition and then to retention of wisdom.

5/14/10

Less is Really More

I encourage leaders to use what you have, rather than be paralyzed by what you don’t have.
Photo of Ugandan children from the CrossFire Uganda church ministries.

L
ess is really more. I’m just back from Africa processing thoughts about all that transpired spiritually and physically in Uganda and Kenya. I had the honor of dedicating the first local church to be a partner in the CrossFire International Alliance. What an awesome time of ministry among the people at CrossFire Church in the Kawempi District of Kampala, Uganda! I looked at all this small church and I saw that less is really more.

With a handful of people, this church supports two primary schools serving over 260 children. While using limited educational resources they are educating children who cannot afford the mandatory school fees. Over 250 kilometers from the church, they have a ministry to over a dozen adults living with HIV. In that same area they have a feeding program for children, giving them porridge on a regular basis. It is also in this distant location they have one of the two primary schools!! Near the church is an educational program empowering women to a sustainable income by teaching them to be tailors. There are other programs and projects, all inspired by the Holy Spirit, undergirded by seemingly few resources but having a great impact for the kingdom of God. It challenges me as a pastor and leader in the church in the U.S. to never overlook what appears to be ‘little’, while paralyzed by the paradigm of ‘more’.

I am reminded of Peter’s words to the crippled man in the temple courts. He said ‘silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong' (Acts 3:6,7).

Many of us in ministry limit the kingdom of God because we focus on what we don’t have. We see other churches and ministries with large financial resources then comparing it to what we have. We say to ourselves ‘if only I had that kind of money I’d be able to_______.' Peter didn’t do that. He looked at what he had and he used it. It appeared to be less than what was needed for the circumstance, but it was really more than enough to meet the need. Peter extended his right hand and his spiritual authority. God’s will was accomplished at that moment. My Ugandan friends seem to have less than many churches in that area, but really they have more. CrossFire Church, Uganda extends their hand and their authority and accomplish so more than seems possible.

I encourage leaders to use what you have, rather than be paralyzed by what you don’t have. If you have 10 people who will help, then 10 people can accomplish God’s will. If you have $10, then $10 can accomplish God’s will. Extend your hand and your authority and you’ll discover your ‘less is really more’.