Trying to teach someone how to do something that you do not do does not make much sense. I would never attempt to teach someone how to fly an airplane because I do not know how to pilot a plane. If you have never played guitar, it is likely you won’t take time today to teach someone how to play. We teach people things we know. We teach people things we do.
One of the easiest ways that I learn is by doing. I am a hands-on person so when I am trying to learn something, it is important that I learn by doing. What helps as well is seeing someone else teach by example. In the time of how-to videos, I’m sure you or someone you know is keen on watching instruction videos to help learn how to knot a tie or make a new recipe.
When teaching and leading others, we must be aware of the example we leave. That is the biggest lesson we provide. People watch what you are doing and hear what you are speaking. Any inconsistencies between what you say and what you do will be noted. If the words you speak and the actions you take do not line up well, your teaching and leading will not be very effective. Be transparent. Be consistent. Teach and lead by example.
“Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it.” – Romans 2:21-23 [NLT]
My daughter loves to sketch and paint. She has a lot of talent. Yes, I’m biased but you can look for yourself. Talent can get you so far in life, but experience is always necessary. God gives us all talents, but He also takes us through many experiences in life to grow us to properly use our talent.
In Exodus 18 and Deuteronomy 1, we read of the leader selection process in the Old Testament. Listed character traits include those who fear God, who are honest, who are wise, who are understanding, and who are EXPERIENCED. The wisdom and the understanding comes as we continue to fear God and walk with Him. The experiences of life, the dark valleys and high mountains of life that God leads us through, teach us and stretch us. It is through experience that we become more capable.
Each of us are leaders. We are created to be leaders. But we aren’t where we are meant to be in life, and we certainly aren’t the leaders we could be to those we lead. Allow God to use you where you are at right now. Keep your ears and eyes open. Ask for Him to use you. Don’t be selective. Allow the Spirit to lead you. Serve where He places you. Soak up the experience. Glean from what He has placed before you. God wants to teach you. He wants to raise you up. Don’t let yourself get in the way. To be a better leader in your home, at church, in your workplace, on the field, you need to humble yourself as a servant of Christ, and forever remember that He both qualifies you and places you. Always stay focused on Him; always point to Him.
“But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” – Exodus 18:21 [NIV]
“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.” – Deuteronomy 1:13 [ESV]