I gathered leading men to go up with me … (Ezra 7:28)

ezraVol 1, No. 2 – 2016

He was the son of a poor laborer who lived in Allegheny PA. As a young man he worked in cotton factories and as a messenger for the telegraph business. At age twenty-four he was in charge of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Western Division.

How did this occur?

He read, devouring books held in a home library, made available by General Richard Anderson. Andrew Carnegie, the reader, the devouring young man, became the most productive and wealthy men of all America.

In his productive years he said, “Take my blast furnaces, my buildings, my real estate, my stocks and bonds, and my credit; but leave me my men and in a few years I will have it all back again.” Leaders are known by the institutions they build. Great leaders do not often ascend because of “experience,” but by the ability to bring quality people to join with them in their task. Carnegie was just that leader.

Ezra’s associates numbered 1753 (8:1-14). Because Ezra listened to God, and surrounded himself with outstanding people, he was to be a successful servant of God.

Crawford Greenwalt, who served as President of DuPont, said of leadership: “Organizations do not make men, but it is men who make organizations. It is what men bring with them in the way of character and adaptability and fresh ideas that enrich the organizational bloodstream and insure corporate longevity.”

How easily we attempt to substitute “experience” for character and adaptability in today’s decisions for bringing on new leadership.

Ezra did not go alone. He took quality men with him. “We” is always better than “I“.

In a world constantly straining to devise new programs and methods, new plans, new directors, and use the latest fads to advance the organization, we lose sight of the man of character and adaptability. God has a history of making the person to be far more than ever imagined. People are God’s focus and people are God’s method. E.M. Bounds said, “The [organization] is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”

Thus I was strengthened according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me. Ezra 7:28

Jesus said, “Come with Me, and I will make you a new kind of fisherman. I will make you a leader to catch men and women instead of catfish and walleye.” (Paraphrase of Matthew 4:19-20)

How are you and your organization doing? Have you tried God’s plan that works better?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

February 18, 2016

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