Introduction by Dan Winkler
Bro. Wallace was an outstanding servant of the Lord. I remember the joy of hearing him and Franklin Camp in back-to-back lectures year after year at Freed-Hardeman. His thoughts below about leadership, preaching and Christian living are timely. Though dead “yet he speaketh”.
I Will Lead on Gently
A good leader will display tender consideration for the old, young, weak and unfortunate. Jacob knew this when he said to Esau, “I will lead on gently.” He realized, “if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die” (Genesis 33:13-14). A good leader will not overdrive.
We may “overdrive” by continual controversy about “words to no profit” (2 Timothy 2:14). It is so easy to reject the weak if they have not reached the heights of the strong (Romans 14:1). It is tempting to condemn the young if they do not know life as we who are older know it. We may require of the young and weak a degree of courage and other graces which in their case may be only buds.
We may “overdrive” by preaching nothing but severe truth, threatening and punishment and never emphasize the great promises of God. It is ours to console as well as to condemn. The great comforting passages of the Bible should not be reserved for funerals only.
We may “overdrive” by manifesting austerity, suspicion and harshness toward those who disagree with us. We must do good unto all men (Galatians6:10). To return good for evil is indeed a golden rule (Matthew 7:12). Faultfinding has a place, but not to the neglect of worthy praise. “Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). We may discourage even the strong be dwelling upon the woes and trials of Christianity and saying little or nothing about its joys.
Jesus has a special place in his heart for the poor and down-trodden. He was tender hearted and king to the most sinful. Even to those who would become leaders he said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). We are all little children first and had to learn to walk.
“The Lord’s servant must not strive.” We must have “a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another… and love which is the bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:12-14). These qualities help to make a good leader.
Torch of Truth, Winter, 1990.