“To Make Leaders, Teach What You Know!”

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Ezra‬ ‭7‬:‭10‬ ‭CEV‬‬‬‬‬
‬‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬“Ezra had spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.”
Anyone who has been taught at any level in the church has heard the verse, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV). Those great words of encouragement were preceded by more than six hundred years by the prophet Ezra who personified that sentiment by spending his entire life studying then teaching what he learned.

The mark of a great leader and a transformed life is their willingness and desire to study, learn, grow, and then teach others what they have learned so that they too can grow. I have the greatest respect for teachers who teach with intentionality, knowing that they are building the foundation for future generations.

Ezra was a priest and a scribe who was sent to Jerusalem by king Artaxerxes along with a group of people to complete the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple. He was fervent in obeying the law of Moses and committed himself to studying and living by its doctrine. His practice is notable because the Israelites had become an unfaithful community and adopted many of the pagan practices of its capturers during their 60 plus years of enslavement. That makes Ezra’s commitment to studying and obeying the Law more than notable, it makes it exceptional, even commendable. Ezra not only studied and learned, but he dedicated himself to teaching the people what he learned and what he knew.

Committed spiritual leaders can alter the course of history as in the case of Ezra who was not deterred, sidetracked, or hindered because of the unfaithfulness of the people. He was empowered by the faithfulness of God. Ezra’s leadership was exhibited through his determination to make other leaders by sharing what he knew. Contemporary activist Ralph Nader was quoted to have said, “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Ezra’s legacy proves that he was the personification of Nader’s premise. Take a few minutes to read the entire seventh chapter of Ezra and you will discover that through his studying and his teaching, Ezra helped to equip and empower leaders of his day. What he did then is still equipping and empowering leaders of today to do God’s will in an unfaithful society.

Ezra is the personification of a leader who produces leaders, someone who “spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.” If we follow his lead, we too will aspire to study, to learn, then to make leaders by teaching what we know.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smash words.com/books/view/993177.

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