I never dreamed I would have served three churches and one Institute and Seminary over the last forty-nine years, but God knew what He had planned for me. I never dreamed I would lead a family and unknowingly accept the responsibilities of leading a family in a way God expects (leading along with a wonderful wife for forty-nine years and anticipating many more years), but God expected me to lead. God has expectations of all His children. So, the question is “How does a person learn to lead”?

I learned leadership skills from several sources. First, I was blessed with wonderful parents who were Godly and led my sister and me to be extremely involved at Olive Street Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  Leadership was by example, their example. It wasn’t until years later, after moving away, that I understood the blessing of my parents. They demonstrated leadership, which was seen through their involvement at Olive Street.

I also learned leadership by working. My Dad (from Hope, Arkansas) had a successful trucking business, including WATERMELONS. I was “chunking and stacking melons” at an early age. This was hard work. I learned leadership through mowing yards, doing my part around home, and eventually taking leadership roles at church and school. This was work and I seemed prepared to work.

More steps in my leadership growth come from watching successful leaders, working in professional leadership roles, and serving in areas needing professionalism. I am not a perfect leader but a BLESSED LEADER. I’ll share more next time.

Dr. Steve Butler
President/CEO
Texas Baptist Institute & Seminary