On November 6, 2018, at age 33, Jeremy Colliton became the youngest head coach in the National Hockey League (NHL) when he followed Joel Quenneville as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. Quenneville was the second-winningest coach in NHL history and led the Blackhawks to victory in three NHL championships. But in 2017–2018, the Blackhawks finished last in their division. New coach Colliton, therefore, was coming into a great franchise that faced huge challenges to winning another championship. In order to lead players many years his senior, Colliton would need to exercise great relationship-building skills and much patience: “Ultimately it’s about winning, and I have to earn their trust by them believing that I can help them win.”
Solomon faced such a challenge in leading the people of Israel after the reign of his father, David. The Ark was not present in worship, the people were great in their numbers, and there was a considerable distance from Jerusalem to Gibeon (v. 3). But rather than seeking his own greatness, Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom. Only after the Lord promised to establish Solomon’s greatness did Solomon shower people with gifts and acquire horses to demonstrate his preparedness for battle (vv. 11–17).
When we enter a new leadership role, we can be tempted to set the goal of exceeding the success of our predecessors. For church and ministry leaders, it might mean overhauling corporate worship, growing a large staff, seeking a congregation with a reputation of great accomplishments, embarking on an impressive building project, or improving other programs. We must remember the truth of this passage: only the Lord can establish us as leaders and give us the grace and wisdom to lead well.
It’s our privilege to pray for our Board of trustees today. Our trustees provide vital guidance to the MBI ministries, serving faithfully with their skills, time, efforts, and prayers. For a list of their names, please refer to page 5 of this issue.