John Piper’s #1 Leadership Tip

The only problem with Passion 2011 was that there was way too much to process and apply.  I’m still going through lessons and trying to implement them into my life.

One of they keynote speakers at Passion was John Piper who recently took a 7-month sabbatical and came back into the public scene the week of Passion.   His message, “Getting to the Bottom of Your Joy” was huge.  Massive implications, but that wasn’t the best part of his involvment.

The next morning, he spoke to the leaders’ group.  He had planned one talk, but then decided at 6:30 that morning to change directions.

That morning, he shared with us his #1 leadership principle he has learned.

John Piper’s #1 leadership tip was this: memorize Scripture.

Here are some of his lines (close to quoting him):

  • “After receiving all my degrees…I was shocked at how I couldn’t quote Scripture.”
  • “This year, I memorized the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).”
  • “Last year, I memorized the Book of Philippians.  I quoted it in its entirety for my church.”
  • “It’s not easy for me.  I’m about to turn 65.  I forget everything!”
  • “It is 5 times as hard for me to memorize Scripture than it was 30 years ago.”
  • “Don’t read Scripture…when doing the Lord’s Supper…standing at a hospital bed…memorize it!”
  • “In meetings, our church depends on me to have the Word of God memorized so I can bring it to the table.”

So much good stuff.  I loved this practical, passionate teaching from Piper on something so dear to my heart.  In college, I really started memorizing Scripture, and I have had varying seasons of momentum since then.

That brings me to what I am trying to memorize now.

I am working on memorizing the Book of Ephesians.

6 chapters.  Since we are studying that book as a church, I thought it would be a great place to start in December.  So when I heard his message, it just confirmed my attempts.  As of writing this, I am at Ephesians 2:15.  Chapter 1 has been the hardest passage I have ever tried to memorize!

I hesitated sharing I was doing this until I heard Piper talk.  His whole point was that he was inspired by someone memorizing Scripture to do the same, and he hoped he would be that for us last week.

So, here I am, and you are reading this for some reason.  I started encouraging some guys around me, and it looks like the Holy Spirit had been working on their hearts, and I’m not alone in my attempts at Ephesians.  What does that mean for you?  You may or may not be ready to memorize the book, but what are you memorizing?  If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.  If Piper thinks it is important, King David (Psalm 119:9-11), and Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), I think it might be something we should look into.

Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”  -Psalm 119:11