But the key to the Great Commandment is that we are commanded to love him. Not merely the study of him. Not only books about him, but God himself. And if we are honest, we can get these confused. A shelf of hardback books doesn’t fulfill the Great Commandment. Study of Scripture cannot be separated from loving God and others. If it is, we are washing the outside of the cup more than we realize.
This age-old question is not easily answered. There are natural leaders, but anyone can grow into a leadership role. Acquired skills often take a lifetime to hone; others are true for everyone. There are mountains of books on leadership. My library is full of secular and religious works on the different approaches to leadership and all tend to agee – personal preparation is the essential aspect of leadership. There are several areas of individual preparedness to explore for those of us in the Lord’s ministry.
What makes a friendship? Is it personalities? Or context? Or proximity? Yes. These areas where two people’s experiences overlap are usually good starting places for close friendship. But I’d argue that the strength of a friendship over the long haul depends not primarily on personality or context or proximity, but on prayer.
Unfortunately, in the midst of the increasingly heated debates, a fundamental fact often goes unnoticed: We are not dealing with neatly defined sides, but rather a spectrum—a variety of views on the best way forward in integrating gospel fidelity with pressing social concerns. Evangelicals have never been united on the way forward, even during the days when there appeared to be unity on the surface. But evangelicals have never been totally divided either, as if there were only two poles of thought.