It is said by others that Abraham Lincoln is the greatest leader the United States of America has ever had. There are many things that I can learn from Abraham Lincoln’s life as it applies to me and my work as a Christian leader. There are four distinct leadership lessons Abraham Lincoln shows that can be directly applied to my own work in Christian ministry and leadership. The first of the four is about the necessity of reading the Bible and using it as a guide.
I. KEEP A BIBLE NEARBY AND READ IT OFTEN
One of the three books which Mr. Lincoln often read and memorized sections of during his youth was the Bible.[ref] Ronald D. Rietveld, “Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian?” Bibliotheca Sacra (January 1960): 59.[/ref]
Later on as Lincoln became President many people witnessed that he always kept a Bible on his desk and read it often.[ref]David Grubin, Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, DVD (American Experience and PBS, 2005).[/ref] In fact, as the Civil War began and caused increased stress and tribulations he often read it more and focused on specific stories that would encourage him and help with the situations he was in.[ref]Ibid.[/ref] In Lincoln’s Philadelphia Speech at Independence Hall in 1861 he showed what a solid biblical foundation does for a leader when he needs to stand up on an issue. Lincoln made a speech about how the “weights [of slavery] should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.”[ref]Abraham Lincoln, “Philadelphia Speech” (speech, Independence Hall, 1861).[/ref] In the speech Lincoln also explained that the only way there would be bloodshed and war was if it was forced upon the government. Then Lincoln boldly declared his commitment, “I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, in the pleasure of Almighty God, die by.”[ref]Ibid.[/ref] One of the important things for Christian leaders is to have conviction for what they are doing that is founded in biblical principles.