God’s Word is first and foremost a message book, revealing the story and means of redemption. But it’s also a method book, in the broad sense of that term.
Pastors, missionaries, teachers, and evangelists may glean from certain texts how-to ideas for fulfilling their calling, or traits/principles essential to completing their tasks. If you’re in leadership, take yourself—and your staff, if you’re in such a position—through the following texts. Take time to absorb passage details, then answer the questions. Also mull over the accompanying application question(s).
If you finish any set of questions in just 10-12 minutes, you’re going way too fast. There’s more to absorb in each passage than meets the eye at first.
1. 2 Chronicles 26 Peril of Pride
*What were the evidences of Uzziah’s effectiveness as a king?
*What words in the text reveal reasons for Uzziah’s success?
*How did Uzziah respond to the popularity that stemmed from God’s blessings?
*In what ways did pride show in Uzziah?
*What was the consequence of his pride?
*What timeless lessons about pride and leadership can you glean from this chapter?
*How does pride tend to show among leaders today? (in me?)
*What are some strategies for curbing pride in leaders?
2. Exodus 18:13-27 Delegation
*What insight about leadership can we derive from Jethro’s involvement in the narrative?
*What reasons to delegate does the text state or imply?
*What additional principles of delegation does the episode offer?
*What is one takeaway I can use in my sphere of leadership?
3. 1 Thessalonians 2 Portrait of Effective Ministry
1 Thessalonians 1 unveils positive characteristics of the church in Thessalonica. Chapter 2 shows the kind of leadership God used to cultivate those traits in the people of Thessalonica. In chapter 2, Paul reminisces on his time in Thessalonica and describes how he served among them.
*What personal traits of a leader does chapter 2 offer?
*What core principles of ministry can you glean from what Paul writes?
*What correlations can you see between traits of the church and those of Paul?
*Which trait or ministry principle does God want to cultivate more within me?
4. Nehemiah 1-2 Preparation for a Task
Though the entire book of Nehemiah is a handbook on leadership and administration, just chapters 1-2 teem with helpful insights.
*As you examine Nehemiah’s attitudes and behaviors, what character traits emerge?
*What insights about a leader’s prayer life do these chapters offer?
*What insights on planning for and administration of tasks does chapter 2 offer?
*What did Nehemiah model about motivating people for a challenging task?
*Based on Nehemiah 1-2, what should I do differently as a leader or planner?
5. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 Leadership Qualifications
Most of the qualifications for church elders and deacons cited by Paul are marks of maturity pertinent to all leaders.
*What different spheres of life, or categories, do the qualifications cover?
*What surprises you about what is and is not included in the list?
*Which traits are most evident in my life? Most lacking?
*In what ways can a pastor or church board use this passage to enhance the life of a
congregation and its leaders?
When it comes to examples of the Bible being a method book, my list is far from exhaustive. What passage would you add? How does the text you selected provide direction or strategy for leaders, teachers, personal evangelists, or persons in other spheres of service?