PAUL: A LEADER INITIATES (2)
We have been looking at leadership lessons from Paul when he was a prisoner being taken to Rome (Acts 27:1 – 28:10). In the first blog we saw a leader is someone who must be trusted. Now we’ll learn another lesson in leadership from Paul.
- A GODLY LEADER TAKES THE INITIATIVE TO LEAD From that port they sailed for a few days until landing at another port (Acts 27:4-5). There they switched to a larger ship carrying grain from Egypt to Rome (Acts 27:6), which would be safer for sailing in the open sea. There were 276 passengers on board. As they traveled on the new ship, they tried sailing against the winds, and it was hard sailing. They again landed, this time at a place on the island of Crete (Acts 27:7-9a). By now it was early October and too late to make the long sail to Rome. Strong winds and hurricane conditions were beginning, making sailing too dangerous until the spring. In fact, despite being a prisoner, Paul warned the leaders that it would be dangerous trying to go on (Acts 27:9b). Trying to cross now could be very dangerous.
It wasn’t Paul’s place to speak. The captain and the owner of the ship had the final say, yet Paul spoke up. That was a courageous thing to do. He had a strong conviction about what needed to be done so he shared it. He was gentle and polite, but he put himself into the position of a leader. He didn’t criticize or put down the others. Nor did he demand to have his way. He didn’t use anger to force his will. But he did state what he felt.
God expects pastors to be leaders (1 Peter 5:1-4). For some that is easy, but for others very hard. Being a leader came naturally to Peter for he liked to be surrounded by people who would listen to him. But it wasn’t until he learned to put Jesus first in his life that he became a godly leader. For those who are shy or reserved it’s harder to be in front of others and make decisions for the group. I am that kind of person. It’s always been hard for me to initiate and lead. I do better at finding what the majority want and going that way, or letting someone more outgoing than I take over leadership. But I know that isn’t right. Since God gave me leadership over the people and ministry under my responsibility, He also will give me the guidance I need to lead them. I need to trust that what God wants is right and best, and follow it. It’s especially hard for me when someone criticizes me or opposes my leadership. Being a leader isn’t about being popular and liked by everyone. It’s not about pleasing the people but about pleasing God. That is what Paul did, and what we all must do.
Is it hard or easy for you to lead? If it is easy, do you make sure you are doing what God wants and not just what you want? If it is hard, what do you do to have victory over your fear and stand for what you know God wants? Can you think of a time you initiated and lead as God wanted? How did it turn out? Think about a time you hesitated to lead, or went your own way instead of God’s way? How did that turn out?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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