Leadership is a role you fill not a position you assume. I love leadership and I love to study great leaders. The one thing I can say for absolute certain is that you lead by the example you set…..YOUR ACTIONS. In your actions and your choices you either have people who desire to follow or they do not. It’s all based on what you do, not your words. I have read over and over again….a true leader assumes a servanthood role and has tremendous courage. The mentality…I will lead by example…I will serve and I will step.
I love the life of Peter in the Bible. Many historians and Bible scholars single out Peter as one of the greatest leaders of all times. He was the dynamic leader of the early church. We can learn so much from the example of his life in leadership.
When we study the life of Peter we easily remember him getting out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus. We remember him denying Christ not once, but 3 times. If you study and dissect Peter’s life, you see he was a fisherman who left everything behind, everything to not “wear a cross, but to carry one.”
You see, Peter denied Jesus when fear overtook him after Jesus had been arrested. Fear overtook him when he was walking on water and the waves started to scare him. He looked down and begin to sink. We can also say for sure that he sank. But he was the ONLY ONE willing to get out of the boat so he was the one who experienced walking on water and he got further than anyone else!
Peter was human. Fear got the best of him sometimes….but it did not stop him. We see in Peter repentance and perseverance. He never stopped following Jesus. He actually experienced fear….because of his courage! A leader must be courageous. He may fail but he must be willing to step anyway.
We also see Peter’s deep love for Jesus when he ran to the tomb. He was the “FIRST” one to run in when John hesitated. When the nets were full of fish, Peter fell to his knees in thanksgiving. When Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter drew his sword…no one else did…nor did anyone else step up to defend.
History tells us that at the end of his life Peter was forced to watch his wife be executed for her faith. When he was to be martyred, he asked to be crucified upside down because he did not want to be crucified like his Savior, Jesus. He said he was not worthy to die like Jesus.
Peter’s life is a testimony of a leader. He was positive and full of vitality. A desire to be positive is one of the most attractive traits of a leader. Leaders understand quickly and constantly that being positive attracts and that negativity repels people from following. So if you want to lead, and you aren’t being successful, check your “positive versus negative” meter. Peter was willing to take responsibility for his actions. He didn’t blame others for his failures. Sure he failed, but he admitted it, repented and kept moving.
You can’t have EGO and lead. I define EGO as Edging God OUT. Meaning…you have to be fully surrendered to God and give Him the credit and glory for all things. After all, it is Him from which everything flows. People follow confidence and unless you are full of “God-fidence” people will not follow for long.
I encourage you today, study in depth the life of Peter in scripture. His failure is not what shaped his life; it was his love for Jesus and confidently following Him. Fear didn’t stop him..it taught him…it molded him.
Peter was the one who boldly answered Jesus when Jesus posed the question in Matthew 16:13-18, “‘Who do you say that I am?'” “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'” Jesus, at that point, called Peter “The Rock” and said, “‘Upon this rock I will build my church!'”
We are commissioned to lead as Christians…to “not wear a cross but to carry one.” Do not let fear overtake you. Let it drive you to courage and obedience to the ONE who develops leaders to “fill a role” not mandate a position!
Luke 22:26, “…let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.”