“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry Truman
This is a quote from Truman that I’m sure a few of you have come across over the years. It certainly does ring true in many cases. We can all picture a person in our lives who has a voracious appetite for reading but they have the leadership ability of a hermit crab. Yet, does the second part of the statement ring true: “All leaders are readers?” From a Christian perspective, I think that this is a must. Here’s why:
1) The growing Christian leader rests in God’s Word.
If a believer is demonstrating a growing and vibrant faith, a mark of that growth will be seen in a desire to absorb God’s Word. Scripture is full of references in this regard:
“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
~ Psalm 1:1-2
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
“I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.” ~ Psalm 119:11
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.” ~ Hebrews 5:12-13
The believer who is seeking to grow in the faith is one who is seeking the meat of the Word. Scripture is God’s love letter to us. The revelation of His character, His love & His gospel is laid out in Scripture. A lack of desire on the part the believer to seek His Word is evidence of immaturity. Beyond just a mere read through of God’s Word, we are to study and treasure His Word. We ought to be immersed in it. Those immersed in God’s Word, those who are meditating on it & delighting in it, will be those who alter the world to God’s glory.
2) The growing Christian leader seeks counsel from others seeking Him
The mark of the leader of the church is certainly one who studies Scripture. To a very much lesser degree, it is important to read books from guys who God has used throughout the course of history. While these books are not inerrant and authoritative like Scripture, there is a good deal of value in reading them. It is so important that we be encouraged by the testimony of those who God has used and is continuing to use. God uses other people as vessels of His grace and God can use books and e-books to show His work and grace. We should take advantage of the massive amount of books available to Christians. There is a countless number of Christian books from authors across multiple generations on a multitude of topics. From marriage, to the sovereignty of God, to an explanation of what the gospel is; the choices are endless.
If you have no idea what book to try to read, ask a believer you really respect. They can help you find the good, edifying books in the midst of the ones that you shouldn’t waste your time with. Take advantage of the endless stream of those who take time to explain portions of the Christian faith through writing. The encouragement and helpful thoughts can go a long way is helping you as a leader.
So hopefully after reading this, you’ll get into the Word and maybe even find a good book. Then take what God has taught you and do make disciples. Go lead.