Dr. Jack L. Arnold

Lesson 13







I.                               Knowing God

A.          Seeking GodŐs Will.  You must want GodŐs will and not your own will.  You must have GodŐs perspective—His view of things.  You must resolve that all your plans are within the sovereign plan of God.  To know His plan you must know Him.  You must be willing to please God in every respect (Col. 1:10) so checking motives are important.  We must want GodŐs will more than life itself.  NOTE:  All of our plans must be checked out with Scripture.  If anything contradicts the Bible, it is not GodŐs will.

B.          Devotionally.  To know God is a process that never ends while one is on this earth.  It takes time, effort, study, dedication, faith, perseverance and suffering.  If you love God, you will keep His commands (1 John 5:3).  If your heart is with Him, your mind will be also.  ŇThe heart of the problem is the problem of the heartÓ (Henry Krabbendam).

C.           Theologically.  You spend a lifetime knowing about the nature, attributes, names, works and plans of Almighty God.


ŇThe highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father . . . It is a subject so vast that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity . . . excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.  Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnifies the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.Ó (Charles Spurgeon, Knowing God)


II.                            Planning for the Future

A.          Vision 

1.           You must know God experientially.  You can know Him as He has revealed Himself to you in the Word and as He gives you daily guidance (Prov. 37:4).  Christ reveals Himself to those who obey Him (John 14:21).  NOTE:  Get alone with God daily and sometimes retreat for several days just to listen to God so you can catch His heart and to glimpse His vision for you.

2.           Vision includes your hopes, dreams and desires for God may use all these things to form a vision.  It is a culmination of your background (all experiences—good and bad), your instincts and your dreams and impressions governed by the Holy Spirit.

3.           Vision requires foresight, insight and perseverance to accomplish the task.

4.           Vision requires faith and faith involves risk as one breaks new ground.

5.           Vision gives one a sense of destiny, coherence, purpose and a vision to persevere.  Without vision you will be confused, disorganized and lack the will to persevere in the task God has given you.

6.           Vision gives us the ability to deal with inner and other pressures, bringing motivation, energy and creativity.  ŇHe who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.Ó

B.          Vision Costs

1.           People with vision are often misunderstood.  People have a hard time grasping spiritual realities and often mistake visionaries as crazy.

2.           Relationships may suffer because your vision doesnŐt allow for mediocrity or compromise or settling for short-term gain.

3.           Visionaries often have a dissatisfaction and discontent with the temporal and traditional and are misunderstood by non-visionaries.

4.           Visionaries often feel inadequate for the task but move ahead anyway.  They are tested again and again and must prove themselves faithful (1 Cor. 4:1-2; 1 Tim. 1:12).

C.           Ministry Philosophy

1.           A leader sets down on paper a ministry philosophy.  It expresses where the ministry is and where it expects to go.  This is the foundation from which the leader thinks, plans and acts.  Anything not consistent with the philosophy is scrapped.

2.           A philosophy provides guidelines for the leader and the followers.

3.           A philosophy is not set in concrete.  It can change as the leader changes or as the ministry changes.  NOTE:  Go by the philosophy.  If you donŐt like the philosophy, change it, but do not have a philosophy and do something else.  This sets up conflict in the minds of everyone.

D.          Planning

1.           A leader should have short-term and long-term goals.  Long-range goals give short-range goals purpose, and give boundaries to risk in decision making.

2.           Every leader should ask, ŇWhat do I want my organization to look like 20 years from now?Ó

3.           In order to reach long-term goals, there must be measurable short-range goals (objectives).

4.           Plans can be changed if the situation demands it.

E.          Excellence

1.           God is excellent (Psa. 8:1) and He desires excellence from His people.

2.           Excellence reflects GodŐs character in the life of the leader.  You should not offer to God anything not worthy of Him.

3.           We are not talking about perfection, but excellence.  Excellence may never be achieved but we strive towards that goal.

4.           GodŐs standard is excellence and He hates mediocrity.  Give God the best possible.  He understands your limitations.

5.           You must do whatever you are doing to please the Lord and for His glory (Col. 3:17, 23).  Excellence is achieved as we give it our best, depending upon GodŐs grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.