5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. (1 Kings 3:5-10)
Today as I take on the sole (staff) responsibility for leading this great congregation, the prayer of Solomon comes to mind. Conscious of the enormity of the task ahead of him, he asks God for wisdom, and this request pleases the Lord. Later in the book of James we read this:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
In ministry there is a definite need for wisdom. Of course, you need character and the relevant skill-set, but even with that, there are situations you face, beyond your knowledge and experience, where really, only divine wisdom can fill the gap. Priorities for the church, the proper allocation of resources (including staff), benevolence decisions, sermon series, new ministries that need to be started, older ones that perhaps need to fade away… all require wisdom and discernment from the Lord.
I follow in the footsteps of a predecessor who was notable for his wisdom and careful decision making. I pray that I will do as well as he did. Please pray with me, and for me, as I enter this new phase in ministry:
“Lord, help me to be a good shepherd for this flock. Grow me in Christ-likeness so that I, like Paul, may be able to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Give me wisdom, beyond my years and experience for every decision I must make. Build your church, and let me not get in the way. Let love and grace be the hallmarks of this congregation. May the way we love one another draw those in, who are currently on the outside. Help me develop leaders who can lead others. Help me make disciples, who can disciple others to maturity in the faith. Let the way I lead demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, and your reality in my life, that your Son might be glorified above all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”