Thursday, December 27 2007
I consider myself a student of history. My lovely wife often thinks I have a memory filled with the most trivial facts and she is probably correct, but in my reading I have come to realize something that is consistent throughout history. The armies and navies that have dominated the world were offensive in nature. They had leaders that were visionaries that saw beyond the next mountain or city. These men looked beyond the obstacles of time and space and saw the future and their place in it.
General George S. Patton Jr stated it is only by doing things others have not that one can advance.
Leaders within the church must be visionaries for the ministry that they are responsible. Vision is a necessity of the church and therefore the church needs visionaries. Leaders that have vision will push their followers to excel beyond their own talents and abilities. I use the term push loosely, but I believe there are examples in the scriptures and they are set by Jesus Christ.
The disciples were not extraordinary men in terms of education and abilities. They were not great orators or men of taste and style. The Bible states very plainly of what the people thought of Peter and John...
Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Peter was a man of impulse and often spoke and acted quickly. He defended Jesus by cutting off a man's ear and then denied Jesus a short time later. Where would Peter fit into our perception of a church leader? Would Peter be allowed to preach in our church or sing in the choir or would we delegate him to a position that is not so obvious? I am not sure how we would treat Peter and his apparent lack of finesse that is expected of many church leaders, but Jesus gave Peter something that not even the greatest of modern Apostolic preachers possess and we find it in:
Matthew 16:19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Jesus pushed Peter to greatness. Jesus' example of leadership and mentoring should show us that the vision that God has given to us to reach the lost can be done by men and women that show the courage to stretch themselves and allow their leadership to push them to higher levels. These men and women do not live across the country or sit in another church, but are the ones that greet you each week with a handshake or hug and perhaps sit in the same pew. Lead them to greatness and watch God grow the church.