NOTE: This month, NavPress is publishing a new book by a good friend of ours, Tom Yeakley. He and his wife, Dana, spent ten years mentoring ministry leaders in Indonesia before returning to the United States, where they both have been in leadership roles at the national level for The Navigators ever since. Tom has spoken more than once to the 20s leadership team, and we have all benefited. Here is a bit of his new book.
Some years ago, I was interacting with Dr. J. Robert Clinton about a personal goal to increasingly deepen my knowledge of the English Bible during my lifetime. After listening patiently and asking some questions, he offered, “Tom, I think you have an impossible goal.”
“Why would you say that?” I asked.
“Because,” he replied, “the Bible is not really one book; it is a library of sixty-six books. It’s too much to try to master in one lifetime.”
Your Core Scripture
He could see my disappointment, and he quickly added, “But there is a better way to develop the depth you desire. Instead of trying to become proficient in the entire Bible, focus your effort around a Core Set of Bible books. Begin with four books: one of the Gospels, Romans, Ephesians, and another book of your choosing—one that you spend a lot of time in, one that you’ve marked a lot in your personal Bible, or the book where you have to tape the pages back together due to wear.”
“Why Romans and Ephesians?” I asked.
“Because they explain Paul’s two revelations from God—the gospel and the body of Christ,” he said.
Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees
Of course, while focusing on a smaller portion of the Bible, we need to stay familiar with the entire Scriptures. There is much profit in reading from the whole Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Don’t become so myopic that you miss great blessing. You wouldn’t want to get to heaven and not have an answer if Nahum asks you “So, how did you like my book?” You’d want a working familiarity with it so that you’re not embarrassed to admit that you never found the time to read or study it.
Your Core Set will be a dynamic list. As God gives you more influence and responsibility, you’ll want to add to it, and as you move through different seasons of life, your books and selected passages, characters, or themes may change accordingly. We can delete from our Core Set as well as add. We want to live and lead from an overflow of our walk with God. Concentrating in a Core Set has proved incredibly helpful for me and enabled me to deeply influence others as I serve others out of my focused study of Scripture.
You can find Tom’s original (fuller) post here.
Please consider purchasing Growing Kingdom Wisdom on NavPress.com Code: WISDOMGOGO during the week of 8/31/19 – 9/10/19.
For each book purchased, the Nav 20s ministry will receive a copy to mentor a young leader.