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Choosing a Leader

Choosing a Leader

A democracy is a system of government in which the entire population has a chance to take part in electing their leader. It works best when there is an informed electorate coupled with candidates for office, whose best interests are the interests of the people whom he or she expects to serve. Before elected, candidates are generally given the chance to present their vision of government to the populace, and after much thought – and hopefully prayer – eligible citizens cast their ballot in favor of the one they think most suited to lead them effectively and efficiently. Problem is, the system is not flawless and in a deeply polarized society such as ours, it becomes even less so.

The Old Testament book of Judges chapter 9 relates the story of a leadership selection process that ended in disaster because the people did not make an informed choice, and because the leader in question lacked integrity and character. It happened at a critical time in the history of Israel when the aging Gideon, a man chosen by God to lead, was getting ready to ride off into the sunset. Gideon, unfortunately, did not name successor, thinking that the people would defer to God’s leadership. They did not and a leadership vacuum was created. And leadership, like nature ‘abhors a vacuum.’ Into this leadership blank-space steps Abimelech, one of Gideon’s sons by his concubine. Abimelech goes to his mother’s family and makes a proposal that he should be their leader as opposed to all seventy of Gideon’s sons. The people thought it was a great idea and after conferring with  the clan, they appoint Abimelech to lead them on the simple criteria that “he is our brother.” But Abimelech was a ruthless man. His first act was to take money that the people gave to him and hire “worthless and reckless men.” With his band of cutthroats behind him, Abimelech goes over to his father’s house and summarily executes all seventy of the sons of Gideon (his brothers and potential rivals). The only one who escapes is Jotham a young son of Gideon, who hid himself.

In response to this questionable leadership selection process, Jotham at an opportune time tells the parable of the trees. Using anthropomorphic language in his parable, Jotham says “the trees went forth to anoint a king over them…” First they approached the olive tree saying: “reign over us.” But the olive tree refused because it has an important function, giving oil which is used to “honor God and men.” The olive tree will not hold sway over the trees! Next the trees approach the fig tree, then the vine. Both times they are rebuffed because these trees – like the olive tree – understand their place in the world and the importance of their designated functions. Finally – in desperation it would seem – the trees approached the bramble: “You come and reign over us.” The bramble, full of arrogance – and with nothing to give – responded: “If in truth you anoint me as king over you, Then come and take shelter in my shade; But if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon!”

In reference to Abimelech as the popular choice Jotham tells the people who are listening to him that if they have acted “in truth and sincerity” in making Abimelech King, and if they  “have dealt well with Jerubbaal (Gideon) and his house, and have done to him as he deserves” then they should rejoice in their choice of Abimelech as king. But if they have not, Jotham warned, “let fire come from Abimelech” and ” let fire come from the men of Shechem and Beth Millo.”

Jotham’s parable was analogous to the selection of Abimelech as the people’s leader. It was also prophetic as he would reign only three years before conflict arose between his clan and the same people who made him king. The conflict escalated until it ended in disaster and literal fire, as Jotham prophesied. Abimelech himself met his death at the hands of a woman and his own armor bearer.

There are several observations that can be made from this account. Firstly people crave leadership! There is no doubt that people want to be led. That’s why there are elections. In democratic societies nations are blessed to be able to pick their leaders. Secondly, people don’t always make the right choice. Very often they they are led astray by silver-tongued politicians who woo them with empty promises, and because they crave leadership over them, they make unwise selections. Sometimes the most qualified pass over the job and people who have only their own interests at heart jump at the chance to lead. Thirdly, leaders who lack integrity, and who violate the trust of the people will pay a price for if. Unfortunately they can do much damage during their time in office.

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Leaving a Generational Legacy

Leaving a Generational Legacy

What if you knew when you were going to die?

I don’t mean the exact date or hour, but say were given a degree of assurance that you had  ten, fifteen or twenty years to go; assurance that you could count on. Having such information, how would you live your life?

Most people – or should I say smart people – would take the time to plan and use their time wisely. They have an idea of the time they have left, so they could in all fairness, make a determination on what they could or could not achieve.  As time passes they may even adopt a keen awareness that time is running out. And if there are projects to complete they would put in the extra effort to get it done in the time allotted.

The truth  is we are never given such assurances!

Short of the terminal illness situation (in which a doctor says you have months to live), few people have a sense of how much time they have left. This often leads people to think   they have all the time in the world and the double time suckers of complacency and procrastination often develops. Truth be told,  no one has all the time in the world – time is a limited and valuable resource.

But would it help if we knew?

Hezekiah was an Old Testament king who faced both a terminal illness, as well as the luxury of having his life extended for a definite period of years; more than enough time to get a lot done.  The story is told in two places in the Bible – 2 Kings chapter 20 and Isaiah chapter 38. Both accounts tell us that “Hezekiah was sick and near death” when the prophet was sent to tell him ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ Hezekiah, who had done many wonderful things in the 14 years since he became king, was dismayed by the warning.  He ‘turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord.’ He reminded God of all that he had done.

Immediately God relented and extended Hezekiah’s life by fifteen years.

Hezekiah was 25 when he became king. He reigned at Jerusalem for twenty-nine years putting his death at the age of 54. If we take away fifteen, he would have been at age 39 when he was given the extension. A king dying at 39 would not have been unusual in ancient times. What would have been unusual was the granting of a specific number of years. Such would be unusual even in our time.

One lesson we can learn from Hezekiah, is that time is running out for everyone. Though we may not have the luxury of knowing when, we should at least live our lives as if we knew. We should make haste to maximize whatever time we have left to establish some things for posterity – leave a lasting legacy – that may positively impact the next generation.

Unfortunately, Hezekiah did not think it necessary to do that!

Shortly after recovering from his illness, Hezekiah received letters and presents from the son of the Babylonian king commending him on his health. When the Babylonian envoys came to the palace, Hezekiah in apparent boastful pride, showed them everything, including his treasures and armory (you don’t do that to a foreign power). When Isaiah the prophet asked who, these men were, and what they wanted, Hezekiah told him: “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.” At that point Isaiah prophesied to the king that the day would come when the Babylonians would take away everything that is in the house, “nothing shall be left.” The prophet also told Hezekiah that even his sons would be taken away to become eunuchs in the place of the king of Babylon. How did Hezekiah respond to such a dire warning?

He said: “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”

Hezekiah demonstrated a measure of selfishness and pride that resulted in serious consequences for future generations. The King failed to realize that he had a responsibility to the next generation as well. Though we may not have the type of assurance regarding the length of our lives, as Hezekiah did, we can become intentional about the future and in planning how we can leave a generational legacy.

Wise men seek Him!

Wise men seek Him!

The bible records that after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, “wise men came from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2) These men were seeking the One who was born King of the Jews. Naturally they inquired at the palace of Herod the reigning King. When Herod heard that they were asking about a new king, he was troubled and so he asked his advisors where this  King would be born. The scholars reminded him of Micah’s prophecy: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are no longer least among the princes of Judah; for out of you shall come a Governor, who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Herod called the wise men and instructed them to go and look for the child and bring him word so that he could worship him as well.

The wise men left following the star that had brought them to Jerusalem. The star  led them to the place where Jesus was staying at the time, and opening their treasures they presented the young child with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gifts themselves were remarkable in that they represented offices that this new born babe would hold – king, priest and savior.

What was more remarkable, however, was that no one thought to follow the wise men to find the baby. You would think that the Chief Priests and Scribes whom Herod called would have been interested in finding the child. When Herod asked where the child would be born, they responded immediately, that Bethlehem was the place.These were the Jewish religious leaders who – along with their people – had been waiting hundreds of years for a Messiah. When He arrived they were not smart enough to put two and two together.Bethlehem was a small village, not far from Jerusalem but it would only be the wise men who would seek out the Holy Child; they and the Shepherds to whom the angels had appeared (Luke 2).

It is clear from this account that the people who had most to gain from the appearance of their King and who should have made haste to find Him, did not bother. Even Herod, who’s motive was evil and concerned solely with the preservation of his kingship, found it hard to seek the King himself. What would have happened if he did? We can only speculate.

The crux of this story is that wise men seek Jesus. In John 5:39-40, Jesus – now a grown man – told some Jewish leaders: “You search the Scriptures, because you think in them you have eternal life. These are they who bear witness of Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” If you are wise you will seek Jesus and if you do, you will find Him.

May you find the Christ of Christmas this holiday season!

 

More Than a Little Wind

More Than a Little Wind

We went sailing again.

During the morning hours it rained a bit so I asked Captain Theo, if the trip was still on. He said we should be ok by the time we were ready to sail.  The rain stopped by noon – sailing time – and though the  weather forecast indicated periodic thunder showers in the afternoon, we still decided to go out.

As we pulled out into the water the skies were dark. Out in the distance there were some really black clouds which we thought were too far away from us to be problematic. There was no wind and as Captain Theo powered out I jokingly said it was the calm before the storm; Pastor Nelson started singing the Gilligan’s Island theme song (not sure if that was a good idea).When the wind finally started blowing we were able to unfurl the sails and enjoy a short time of relatively smooth sailing. After a while, Captain Theo must have sensed that it was not such a good idea to be out  so  he turned the boat around and started heading back.Then the rain began to fall. It wasn’t  much but it added another level of excitement to the trip. Sean and Pastor Nelson stayed on the deck, getting soaked.

Then the storm really hit us! The rain came down in sheets and the wind picked (later on Captain Theo estimated that the winds were about 35 miles an hour from zero a few minutes before). I was down in the cabin at the time and I became a bit concerned when I looked out the little window and saw the waves right outside. The T-Time was listing at what I estimate to be almost a 45 degree angle. I looked out and  saw Captain Theo leaning on the helm trying to keep the boat on a straight course. That’s when I decided to see how I can help so I suggested we bring the sails down. Sean climbed on the deck and manually pulled the sail down making it easier for Captain Theo to steer the boat back to the marina.

The storm didn’t last very long and probably was not as bad as we inexperienced sailors (except Captain Theo) thought it was. But I did learn a few things.

  1. There is such a thing as the calm before the storm: When we got to the marina there was a nice breeze blowing. I remember thinking that in spite of the threat of thunder showers,  the wind would give us a nice day of sailing. But as we were pulling out the wind died completely, the water was glassy calm and its only when a cruise boat passed by we saw some waves. So too, in life periods of exceptional calm may be a prelude to times of turbulence. Therefore we should be ready  when they come. Captain Theo must have realized that it would get rough so without saying anything to us, he quietly turned the boat around. I suppose it would have been harder to turn in the midst of the storm than just before it hit.
  2. Storms teach you how to adapt to your circumstances: It was the first time Sean had been on a boat like this. He is a big guy and I was a bit amused when he put on the life vest which was way too small for him. But he kept it on for the duration and when the storm hit he was all over the deck like an experienced sailor. I don’t know if he was afraid but he learned quickly and he was able to bring the sails down on his own. Sometimes you just don’t know how you will handle things until the waters get a bit rough. That’s when experience kicks in and you do whatever comes naturally. Sometimes it means that you pray.
  3. Storms are not to be trifled with: We really did not have time to understand whether we were in danger. Like kids who think everything is fun, we just enjoyed the experience. But when I looked out from the cabin at Captain Theo I noticed an expression on his face that made me realize he was taking the storm seriously. The truth is, Captain Theo was the only one who had any real sailing experience. If we were in trouble he would be the one to get us out of it. We would have done what we were told but it would be his job to take us through the storm.
    Life’s storms are also not to be trifled with.They can do real damage and you are never really adequate in handling all of them. That’s why it is important to know whom to go to; whom to call. In Mark chapter 4, when Jesus and His disciples met a storm on the Sea of Galilee, experienced fishermen though they were, they called upon Him.

The Wind in Our Sails

(Originally posted on Grace4today.org – August 6th 2014)

It was a beautifully calm day with not much wind, so after taking the boat out of it’s mooring, Captain Theo powered out into the channel. After a while the wind picked up slightly, enough to allow us to unfurl the sails Though the sails were up and the boat was moving, there wasn’t much “sailing” involved. But it was fun anyway, and we slowly made our way past the Whitestone and up to the Throg”s Neck Bridge. Having driven over the these bridges on occasion – more than once being stuck in traffic – it was an interesting perspective seeing it from from the water.

On our way back the wind died completely, and Captain Theo had to use the engines to power back in. All in all it was a great time of fellowship and a good experience for all of us. It was clear however, that a good sailing experience requires an adequate amount of wind to drive the sails. It reminded me that in the journey of life we need some wind in our sails, as well.

In the Gospel of Mark (4:35-41), the author relates the account of the stilling of the storm. The story begins with Jesus telling His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” While on the sea of Galilee, a “great windstorm arose and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.” The disciples, fearful for their lives, cried out to Jesus, who was asleep in the boat, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and the sea saying, “Peace, be still.”

This account is usually told from the perspective of Jesus calming the storms in people’s lives. From a hermeneutical point of view this is correct, but what if Jesus had not calmed the storm? What if He had allowed the disciples to sail through the storm? The disciples – Peter, James and John at least – were fishermen by profession, so they should not have been afraid of the storm. If anything, Jesus should have been more concerned (He was a carpenter). In any event, He took a nap, and left the sailing to the sailors! The disciples responded, however, the way most people would respond in a crisis – even the experts – they called for help. Jesus quickly resolved their dilemma, while chastising them for a lack of faith. Question is, did they learn anything from the experience? That Jesus would answer when they called? I’m sure they knew that! That He was Lord of the wind and the waves? They would have found that out eventually!

We need a few storms to teach us how to navigate the waters of life. There are times, I believe, when God wants us to go over “to the other side” even though He knows full well that a storm is brewing. Considering the fact that Jesus is the Lord of the wind and waves, are we to assume that He did not know a storm was coming? I think not! Sometimes we need a stiff wind to simply keep us going. Sailing in calm waters is not exciting. It is easy to think that conditions of calm, with a slight breeze, is more to be desired, but I do not think so. I believe that ultimately the people who are most successful; the ones who achieve the most in life, are the ones who struggle. The ones who fall and get up again; the people who surmount obstacle after obstacle, are the people who will go far. While it may be a bit unreasonable to pray for, or expect storms in our lives, we at least need a good wind in our sails.

I’m not a Grasshopper!

I’m not a Grasshopper!

There are about 11,000 known species of grasshoppers and they can be found all around the world. They live in the fields, eat mainly plants and vegetable matter, and are called grasshoppers because of powerful hind legs that allow them to leap great distances. Grasshoppers are from the insect family and range in size from two inches to about five inches. Though large for the insect kingdom, they are tiny animals. Calling or seeing oneself as a grasshopper may not necessarily be a flattering thing, especially in the context of the following story.*

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My Journey…so far!

My Journey…so far!

At 56  I’ve lived a lifetime!

Yet it is as if my journey has just begun. Chronologically time is short and the saying ‘so much to do, so little time’ seems apt. But I will not concern myself – too much – with what I don’t have, what I have not achieved, or where I have not gone. Instead I will focus on what I can acquire, what I can do and where I can go in the years ahead of me. For i believe it is foolish to allow time to be wasted on recriminations and lost opportunities, for in doing so other opportunities might be lost. They say that lost opportunities are seldom regained so what’s gone is gone. I will however keep my catcher’s mitt on my hands, ever  vigilant to capture those errant fastballs ( they come faster as the years grow shorter). I am fully aware that I may not catch them all, but I will be content to catch what I can.

A goodly part of my former years have been in the employ of those who wanted me to do what concerned them while I neglected what concerns me. Don’t misunderstand me because I thoroughly enjoyed the things that were required of me and in the process, I learned a lot. But there were things I wanted to do that had to wait; until now. I no longer work for the man, but I work for The Man; God is my CEO.

The work that I do for Him, I thoroughly enjoy. It is as if I have found my life’s purpose – which I have! But I have not just started to work for Him, I have been for most of my life. However, I had divided loyalties up until a few years ago. I am happy to report that He alone is my employer; I play for an audience of One!

Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a child though I was never formally trained, having finished school before I was 20. But the world has been my classroom, and it continues to be so. Learning has always been a friend and we will be together till the end. Those who know say that ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste’ so I will not. I have found that ‘sharpening the saw’ works to my advantage – every time! So I have enrolled in school and I am three-quarters of the way to a Bachelor’s degree…finally…yaaaay!!! Oh, and I have written a book as well – self-published of course – it’s called: The Parable of the Trees – A Study in Spiritual Leadership!

Blogging is this new adventure that I have embarked upon and I welcome the challenges it will bring. I look forward to the critique of friends – and enemies (though less of the latter) – that I may meet along the way. It is my hope that some will find it helpful to walk with me, as I walk with them; the world is a lonely place without friends of like passion.

Update

March 2, 2017

Last year (August)I turned 58 and I feel it is necessary to do an update on this post. As it stands, I am two years ahead in my journey (or two years closer to meeting Jesus, however you want to look at it. I prefer the former), and a few things have happened since then.

The main event has been the publication on Amazon’s Create Space platform my 40 day devotional – Walking with Jesus. This is a project I have been working on for a couple of years and which I ran as a small group program at Grace Ministries . The completion of this publication awoke in me the desire to write more, and to publish more (publishing is so easy these days)!  In fact I have decided to embark on a supplemental career, that of author.

During the 70s when I was in my teens, I had written a play titled,  The Allies. It was an amateur production but well received in my local church back then. I decided to take the original story-line and convert it into a novel, which I am currently working on. I have revised the title to Allies in the Darkness.

UPDATE: 4-23-18

Recently joined the New York State Chaplain Task force (graduated 4-21-18)

https://www.nychaplaincyservices.org/

 

 

 

Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership

Chick -fil-A is  a company founded by the late S. Cathy Truett on true biblical principles. To show the company’s commitment to Biblical values, their restaurants do not open on Sundays so that employees can go to church with their families. Though Chick-fil-Ahas been in the news of late, a recent  story, less publicized has also made the news. This time, according to CNN Money, the restaurant topped the list in customer satisfaction surveys. It was the first time the company made the list and it scored the highest ever in that category. I am convinced Chick-fil-A  shows the personality and values of its founder, S. Cathy Truett.

Personality is “the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.” In the case of organizational entities, they too have characteristics and qualities  that come together to form the organization’s distinctive character.An organization’s  personality style is often defined along the lines of its founders or of its leaders. Why? Because the founders and / or leaders  infuse who they are into the organization. At its corporate headquarters there is a plaque stating Chick -fil-Aand its founders’ mission, “to glorify God.”  This according to an article in Forbes Magazine.

Leadership theorists have identified a number of styles of leadership that can be found organizations today.  The success or failure of an organization depends to a large part on the type of leadership at its helm. The Center for Association Leadership identifies eight common leadership styles. (I have changed the order listing servant as #8, and not #6 where it is in the article.)

  1. Charismatic – “Influences others through power of personality; acts energetically, motivating others to move forward; Inspires passion; may seem to believe more in self than in the team.” Oprah Winfrey is listed as an example of a charismatic leader.
  2. Innovative: “Can see what is not working and brings new thinking and action into play;  Grasps the entire situation and goes beyond the usual course of action.” Richard Branson founder of Virgin Atlantic is listed as an innovative leader
  3. Command and control: “Follows the rules and expects others to do the same.” Tom Couglin head coach of the New York Giants.
  4. Laissez-Faire: “Knows what is happening but not directly involved in it; trusts others to keep their word; monitors performance, gives feedback regularly.” Donna Karan founder of fashion giant DKNY is listed as this type pf leader.
  5. Pace Setter: “Sets high performance standards for self and the group; epitomizes the behavior sought from others.” Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon is listed as a pace-setting leader
  6. Situational:”Links behavior with group’s readiness; includes being directing and supportive, while empowering and coaching.” Pat Summit former head coach at the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team.
  7. Transformational: “Expects team to transform even when it’s uncomfortable; counts on everyone giving their best; serves as a role model for all involved.” Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are listed as transformational leaders
  8. Servant: “Puts service to others before self-interest; Includes the team in decision-making; Provides tools to get the job done; Stays out of limelight, lets team accept credit for results”

(You can read the article here: https://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=241962)

The church as an organism derives its personality from Christ who is its head. It is built on a foundation of grace, mercy and love. The church or the local assembly on the other hand, sometimes derives its personality from the leader or pastor of the congregation. If the local pastor does not derive his or her personality from Christ the ultimate head of the church the personality of the local church may be skewed. In the above list, I have placed “servant” in that order because I believe it best shows the personality of leadership in the Christian church.

The term “servant leadership” seems like an oxymoron. For the most part people see leadership as being in charge, being in front, being visible and so on. And it is all that but it is also true that a real leader is one who is willing to serve. The apostle Peter in his epistle urged the “elders’ of the church to “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock…” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

Jesus Himself demonstrated an example of what it means to lead by being a servant in John 13. He and His disciples had just finished eating when He stripped off His cloak, put a towel on His shoulder and grabbed a basin of water. He proceeded to wash His disciples’ feet. The practice of washing the feet of guests was customary in those days but was assigned to a servant. When Jesus started washing the feet of His disciples, some of them allowed Him to. not knowing how to respond. Peter the one who was always quick to respond, vigorously protested. He wouldn’t let Jesus, his Master wash His feet. Jesus put an end to Peter’s protestations by insisting: “If I don’t do this, you have no part of Me!” Peter relented!

When Jesus was finished He explained His actions. “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”  He concludes by saying:  “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Jesus’ ministry epitomized servant leadership. He led by serving those to whom He had come save. He explained it this way: “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28)

To serve one’s constituents should be the goal of every leader, for in service one finds his or her highest ideals.

CALL TO ACTION

What kind of leader are you?

 

“Developing Leaders, Not Functionaries.”

“Developing Leaders, Not Functionaries.”

I have been reading “A Year With Peter Drucker” by Joseph A. Maciariello. The book is subtitled 52 Weeks of Coaching foe Leadership Effectiveness. Week one is entitled: ‘Developing Leaders, Not Functionaries.’ In this chapter the author asks, “are you developing leaders in your organization, or are you developing bureaucratic, rule-following functionaries?” I think it is a great question to ask of leaders, but it is also important for leaders-in-training to assess whether they are being trained to lead, or to simply follow instructions. In the early part of Jesus’ ministry he called men who would be disciples. Peter, Andrew, James and John did not understand what they signed up for when the Master called them. He simply said, “follow Me” and they did. In fact they left everything to follow Jesus.

Applying Peter Drucker’s principle that “leadership is having followers,” Jesus was an exceptional leader. He started with 12, but lost one along the way. He called thousands but at the end of his earthly ministry, He ended up with only 120. On the day of Pentecost however, 3000 were added and His following has been growing ever since. Today, His numbers are so impressive, it’s hard to count, though it may not seem so at times.

Looking at the roster of people whom Jesus called at first, it is hard to imagine the church becoming what it is today. The disciples were  fishermen (some of them) – Matthew was a tax collector – they were simple people. And they started out being “rule following functionaries.” Take the story of the miraculous draught of fishes (Luke 5). After standing in a boat and  teaching the people who had gathered to hear Him, Jesus asked Peter to put out a little into the deep water to catch some fish. Peter, a fisherman all his life, knew a little better. He had fished all night and caught nothing – so he said as much. He added however, “because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (NIV)

Very often when this story is taught, it is from the perspective of obedience – Peter was obedient to Jesus – and quite rightly so. He is after all the One to whom we must be obedient. But let’s engage our minds here a bit (that’s what Encquip is about). In this account, Peter followed an instruction, and if you look at the disciples’ performances in the early days of their calling, that is all they did.  There is no question that good leaders start out by following rules, and doing what is asked of them. But they should never stay there. Peter did not stop at being a rule follower; he eventually became the leader of the early Christian church.

Growth in leadership means moving from being a rule follower to one who sets the rules. According to Drucker, “leadership means getting the right things done.” (p 4). People who simply follow rules get things done but it ends there. Sometimes they are not even aware of why they are doing what they are asked to do!

CALL TO ACTION

Step 1: Examine your performance to decide if you are a leader or a rule-follower

Step 2: The next time you are given a task, try to find why you are being asked to do it

Step 3: Look for lessons to be learned in the assigned task

Step 4: Implement the lessons learned