Okay, I’m thinking again. Yes, that’s what I do. That’s what  bring to the table, to the team. I like to bring fresh thinking and question old ways of thinking.  I like to do things differently, not the way they’ve always been done.

Please hang with me as I share an observation.

It seems to be that more and more Christian leaders are reading their Bibles less and less and absorbing and using sermons and  podcasts from others more and more.

When I ask leaders what they’ve been hearing from God lately (which I regularly do with my coaching clients) increasing numbers, they share by  telling me what they’ve heard from Matt Chandler, John Piper or some other well-know and  popular communicator.

Now let me be clear.  I’m  not saying sharing what Chandler or Piper have to say about an interesting passage of Scripture is wrong.

Where this tendency can go wrong is when we’re spending more time with Chandler and Piper (and dozens of other communicators) and less time simply reading, studying and memorizing the Bible for ourselves. We’re getting our biblical intake and Insight “Second-Hand.”  We do well to  let the Scriptures speak directly to us rather than through someone else.This is in part what the reformation was all about.

With all the tools we have at our disposal on our computer or tablet, as well as what’s available online we can hear what literally 100’s of others think about any portion of the Bible.

If this is becoming our primary source of biblical intake, we could be in trouble over time.

When I was considering getting some training with the Navigators in the fall of 1964, I was invited to the Navigator home in Pasadena for a visit. When I arrived they gave me some paper and asked me to go to a quiet place in the home with my Bible and study a chapter they assigned to me. I spent  an hour or so in that chapter, writing down my observations and potential applications. No commentaries, no other books to read about the chapter—just seeing what the Holy Spirit would say to me through the sacred pages. It’s obviously left an impression on me, as I still remember this after 60 years.

It’s my approach to this day to spend adequate studying a portion of Scripture before hearing or reading what others may say or think about it. Stephen Covey says, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

The main thing is to hear from God, first, then from others! It takes a lot more work this way.  Maybe, just maybe, that’s why lots of leaders don’t go there. It’s easier and faster to just get ideas from others and then preach, teach and share that.

A Christian once approached his pastor with delight and excitement and told him that for the first time,  he had finally begun to understand the book of Revelation. The  pastor asked him what had happened.

The man replied, “I started to read it.”

May I graciously encourage all of us, as Christian leaders, to make “Reading” our Bibles the first step and not making the 1st step reading what everyone else says about the Bible. “Try it. You may like it Sam I am”—Green Eggs and Ham—Dr. Seuss.