Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Leading from the Bible and Into the Bible

Once we have good momentum in evangelism, by God’s grace, we will see people coming to faith in Christ. Also, because of our sowing broadly, we will find young Christians who desire to grow up in Christ. These new believers and young, Christian “orphans” will need to be fed spiritual food to help them move towards maturity in Christ. This spiritual food is the Bible, helping them not only understand it, but apply it to their lives.

In our discipling of young Christians and as we equip disciples to become laborers for the spiritual harvest, we must remember that it is the Bible that helps them become established and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Let’s be sure that our small groups are studying the Bible and not someone’s book about a biblical topic. Let’s be sure that our follow-up plans and equipping packages are Bible centered. As we counsel and advise, let’s be sure that our counsel is full of the Word of God.

As we minister the Word of God to the hearts and minds of others we can become very “cerebral” in our approach, if we’re not careful. We can have verses for everything and every situation, ready to dispense on a moment’s notice, but it is not simply the imparting of Bible information that will bring about transformation in someone’s life. We will need to help them seek application of biblical truth for their lives.

One of our Navigator distinctives over the years has been our emphasis on personal application of the Scriptures. Let’s remember that Scripture memory is not an end in itself, that is, the quoting of verses from memory. Rather, it is the saturation of our minds with God’s Word that we may meditate on it and find application for our lives that is the desired end. We want to be changed into the image of Christ through our memory work and our Bible studies, but this will only happen as we seek to find personal application of the Word for our lives.

In our equipping of spiritual laborers we must help others ground their personal ministry in the Bible. In our evangelism training, let’s ground them in the Scriptures when presenting a credible explanation and defense of the Gospel. Let’s encourage them to have confidence in God’s ability to use His Word to win people to Himself. He will honor the use of His Word. It will accomplish His desires (Isaiah 55:8-11).

In training spiritual laborers to establish others in the faith, we must give them tools that will help them impart the Scriptures to others. They must have confidence in God and in God’s Word if they are to see spiritual generations flowing from their lives. We can help them have that confidence if we model it before them and teach them how.

Discipling and equipping others with the Word of God for a lifetime of laboring for Jesus is a vital part of our leadership mandate. The fruit bearing that results from sowing good seed in good ground is one of the great blessings we get to observe as we co-labor with God. Sow the good seed of the Word of God (Mark 4:14: 1 Peter 1:23)!

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