Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Step it up!! Leadership Caffeine from Samuel Brengle and the Apostle Peter


As I was flicking through J. Oswald Chambers Spiritual Leadership, I found some interesting insights from well known Salvation Army Revivalist Samuel Logan Brengle on leadership. Reading this is like drinking a cup of leadership caffeine. Let it energize you for ministry, and let it challenge you for future leadership that God calls you to.

On the topic of spirituality and leadership Brengle writes, "It it not won by promotion but my many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncomplaining embrace of the cross, and by eternally looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for ourselves, but like Paul, by counting those things that are gain to us as loss for Christ. This is a great price, but it must be paid by the leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth, and in hell." - (Quoted from Samuel Logan Brengle, The Soul-Winner's Secret, p. 22).
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Consider this for a minute. The greatest vehicle on earth that God uses to extend his Kingdom is his church. The church can only be an effective vehicle if people at some point become leaders (annointed & appointed by God), to lead the church to fulfil its mission. If you are not a leader in the local church, and you sense God nudging you to step it up a notch, why don't you?

What holds you back?

FEAR?

You might know, in Matthew 14:22-36, we have a historical record of Jesus walking on water. Now, what was Peter's response in this account? He said, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come out onto the water". And Jesus says, "Come." If ever we had a leader in the history of the Christian Church, amonst some other big names, we would probably name Peter, who preached it up on the day of Pentecost where 3,000+ became believers.

Anyway, here's the point. Picture the context in which Peter and his disciples find themselves. The time is between 3am and 6am. It's pitch black. A storm is raging. The disciples are no doubt wet, tired and irritable. It's in this context that Jesus is walking on water AND it's within the storms and fear that the disciples are feeling, that Peter musters up the courage to walk off the boat and onto the water.

See, God may be calling you to step up and be a leader, but you're waiting for the storms to blow away, you're waiting for the inner feelings of fear to dissipate. Simply, you're waiting for the circumstances to be perfect before you step it up a notch. Let me tell you something I've learnt... You'll be waiting forever!!

So take the challenge of Samuel Logan Brengle, and the encouragement we feel when we consider Peter walking on water. Be decisive today. Be the person God calls you to be. Step it up and fulfil the potential that exists for you to be used by God within that awesome 'vehicle of transformation' called the local church. 

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