Peter was born and reared in a religious tradition. He became a disciple of Jesus Christ and observed how Jesus ministered to people using different styles and methods. He saw how some methods led Jesus into conflict with those who held to tradition. Peter became the primary spokesman at Pentecost when thousands were converted to the Christian faith and the church began. He began moving out of the traditional mold.
In Acts 10, Peter, while on a rooftop, encountered God in a vision. Peter was hungryand he saw “heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean’ (Acts 10:11-15, NIV). This event defined a new sense of mission to a whole new group—the Gentiles. Out of this experience, Cornelius and his household became believers in Christ. When Peter went to the home of Cornelius, he broke tradition and began a new method of evangelism. If Peter had not experienced the profound sense of call to follow Jesus while on the rooftop, it is doubtful he ever would have left the traditions with which he grew up and embraced.
The Apostle Paul began most of his letters with, “called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…” (1 Corinthians 1:1, NIV). When Paul went to the churches on his missionary journeys, he continued to use similar terms. He emphasized over and over again that he was not called by the people, but by a higher authority. This gave him courage to face traditional leaders in the religious community, even when conflict arose. In both Peter and Paul, the call of God and the continuing renewal of that call empowered them to lead in the midst of the inevitable storms that came.
Today, when an individual is invited to become the pastor of a church, it is imperative he sense a call, not only from the church, but from God. It is imperative for him to know that God led him to that particular place at that specific time. Otherwise, there will be no anchor to hold him when the sea begins raging around him.
- A Leader Must Have a Profound Sense of God’s Call
- A Leader Must Grow in Their Relationship with God
- A Leader Must Be Compassionate
- A Leader Must Be Passionate
- A Leader Must Be Visionary
- A Leader Must Become Entrepreneurial
- A Leader Must Be Contextual
- A Leader Must Be a Planner
- A Leader Must Be a Lifelong Learner
- A Leader Must Be a Delegator and Empowerer of Others
Who is Everett Anthony?