DCL 6.3 Instruction | Preparation Positions Your Talent
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
Video Presentation: Todd and Julie Mullins, Lead Pastor, Christ Fellowship, Florida
Achievement follows preparation. Talent wants to jump into action, but preparation positions talent to be highly effective. Talent plus preparation often leads to success. Talent minus preparation often leads to disaster.
Talent will frequently provide you with an opportunity for success, but preparation is essential to actual achievement of success. Talent may get you a spot on the starting line, but preparation is necessary for you to reach the finish line. A famous general in World War II said it this way, “The more you prepare in peace, the less you bleed in war.”
Why do leaders fail to prepare? There are several reasons:
1. They fail to see the value of preparation before action.
2. They fail to appreciate the value of discipline.
3. They are unwilling to invest the time and work required to prepare.
Let’s look at some principles that will help us understand the power of preparation and all the benefits that come with it:
1. Preparation allows you to tap into your talent.
2. Preparation is a process, not an event.
3. Preparation precedes opportunity.
4. Preparation for tomorrow begins with the right use of today.
5. Preparation requires continually good perspective.
6. Good preparation leads to action.
Remember: Leadership develops daily, not in a day. If you are PREPARING today, you will not be REPAIRING tomorrow.
Three Keys to Preparation
1. Good preparation always begins with assessment.
- What is my goal?
- What will it cost in time, effort, and resources to get there?
- What obstacles am I likely to face?
- What are my personal limitations?
2. Good preparation requires alignment.
- What is the use of climbing the ladder of success only to find that it is leaning against the wrong building?
- What is your God-given purpose in life?
3. Preparation requires a right attitude.
- Do you believe in yourself?
- Do you believe in what you are doing?
- Do you believe God will empower you?
- What is one goal you have for your ministry or business? What must you do to prepare YOURSELF to reach this goal?
Biblical Case Study: Timothy (2 Timothy 2:2-26)
For many years, Paul mentored young Timothy. Paul exhorted him to stir up his leadership gifts. Paul knew that giftedness alone is not enough. He helped Timothy prepare to lead in tough times. He challenged him to commit to a lifetime of faithful service to the Lord Jesus.
Paul helped Timothy with preparation through wise instruction. In chapter two of 2 Timothy, the apostle uses seven leadership metaphors. These pictures portray a leader who is generous, disciplined, patient, rugged, tenacious, pure, hardworking and sacrificial. Paul motivates Timothy to develop these qualities and attributes.
Right after Paul encourages Timothy to be strong (2 Timothy 2:1), he gives him seven portraits to help him understand what he must become:
1. A Teacher (v.2) – A leader must mentor others.
2. A Soldier (vv.3, 4) – A leader must be committed.
3. An Athlete (v.5) – A leader must possess discipline.
4. A Farmer (vv.6, 7) – A leader must be a hard worker.
5. A Worker (vv.15-19) – A leader must be diligent.
6. A Vessel (vv.20-22) – A leader must be pure.
7. A Servant (vv.23-26) – A leader must serve others.
- What are you doing to intentionally prepare others around you? Weekly? Monthly?
- How are you preparing others to use their talents and gifts?
Paul knew that Timothy must prepare for the task before him. Preparation would be crucial for his four-fold assignment:
1. Preach the Word. (2 Timothy 4:1,2)
2. Do the work. (2 Timothy 4:3-5)
3. Run the race. (2 Timothy 4:6,7)
4. Finish victoriously. (2 Timothy 4:8)
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