Tests of A Leader – Humility, Sacrifice, & Vision

Tests of A Leader – Humility, Sacrifice, & Vision

Luke 5:1-11

I love these 11 verses and what it teaches about leadership. It teaches both what Jesus is looking for from his leaders and lessons on how we can develop future leaders. Here is a passage where Jesus is teaching eternal truths to a large group of people yet the focus is not on what Jesus taught but who Jesus was testing. Hear this; In God’s timing, the most important thing for you this morning might not be the Teaching, it might God’s Testing. You know at any given time God is doing millions of things at once.

Action – Obedience – Humility – Sacrifice

If I am hiring staff at CCC, if I am looking to put someone in a leadership position at CCC, I am intentionally looking for these 4 qualities.

Action:

Jesus was experiencing a logistics problem. The people were pressing him into the water. So Jesus hops aboard Peter’s boat and makes a simple request “Peter, I have a challenge before me. Will you make my challenge your challenge? Will you drop everything right now to respond to my needs? Will you take Action?” What a Test!

Peter stops what he is doing and takes Action. Peter passes the first test. This small action is like a hinge on a great door that opens to Peter a future he can hardly imagine. So often, small actions can open great doors in our future!

Obedience:

Then Jesus gives Peter a second test; one that was more difficult. “Peter, I know it’s in the heat of the day and it’s not the primetime for fishing but put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Here is the challenge-  Can Peter obey Jesus when it goes against what Peter thinks is best? In verse 5 you see the “BUT” This is the hinge that opens up a whole new world to Peter “But, Because you say so – I will.” Because you say so – I will. Underline this phrase and use it in your prayers. This is a hinge statement in the life of every Leader with Jesus.

Credit:

We all know what happens. Peter rows out to deeper water, lowers the nets into the water and catches so many fish his nets begin to break. He quickly signals to his partners and they come to help. The catch is so great that it nearly sinks both boats. Everyone is astonished. Everyone is Encompassed in Amazement! Amazement rings in the crowd. Whispers grow into rumblings “How did this happen? Who deserves the Credit?”

This is a critical moment and a critical test. Who deserves the Credit test? Peter falls on his knees in front of everybody; in front of the other fishermen and the crowd and says “I am completely aware of whose power brought in this astonishing catch of fish. Not, Me (Peter ), I am a sinful man. I don’t have that kind of power. I don’t even deserve to be in your presence!” Peter passes the test in front of the crowd and with great clarity he gives Jesus the Credit.

The Credit test is such a huge Leadership Test. This test isn’t just a young leader’s test. In fact, it’s possible that it could still be a test at the end of your leadership journey.

In 2 Samuel 24 we see that King David, nearing the end of his leadership and at the peak of his power, sends one of his long time friends Joab to go through all Israel and number the troops, count the number of fighting men. David wanted to just delight in his POWER!

Remember what his friend says. This is a good friend who will try to stand in the way of your foolishness. Joab says “David, I plead with you not to number the troops. I can see your motive to delight in the number and foolishly brag and create the illusion that it was the number of troops under your leadership that brought you victory. It was not; all the Credit belongs to the Lord.”

David foolishly blows right through Joab’s wise counsel. David gets the number, 1.3 million. The cost of David taking Credit was great; 70,000 men. WOW!

How are you faced with the Credit test? Do you feel a hunger for credit or the need to tell others what you have done. How much experience you have had? How large you have grown your organization? Do you like to name-drop? How do you pass the Credit Test in a Social Media Culture?

Why is humility such an important characteristic of a healthy Team? How do Credit Hogs hurt a team?

Catching & Casting a Vision:

I love this verse! In verse 10 we see Jesus say “Peter – Don’t be afraid, from now on you will be catching men.” WOW! What a Grand Vision. Peter, I am challenging you to lift your eyes off Dollar Signs and consider the Destiny of Men.

Jesus isn’t giving him details but casting an immense vision. He is trying to stir a hunger in Peter for something Grander than he can imagine.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
                                             -The Boyhood of Raleigh

Now I realize that Jesus was calling Peter to a particular role, the Leader of the Church. Yet, Jesus is calling all of us to take part in shaping the Eternal Destinies of Men. In Matthew 28 – The Great Commission, Jesus says “Go into all the world, [including the business world] and make disciples” Tell people about Jesus.

Does Jesus Grand vision fit into your career? How?

How strong are you at casting a Grander Vision into the lives of those under your leadership or are you just assigning them tasks?

Sacrifice:

Peter is standing there with the largest paycheck he has ever received in his hand. No doubt while they are hauling all ashore they are quickly calculating their fortune; secretly thinking of all the things they can finally buy with this sudden influx of cash. Jesus looks at Peter and gives him the final test “Peter, can you leave this behind? Peter, can you trade in Dollars for people’s Eternal Destiny? Peter can you lay this down for a Grander Vision?” O What a Test! This may be the toughest test of all, for some.

To be a part of fulfilling any dream. To be a part of bringing Hope to the World. Some things, some valuable things, must be left behind.

In order to reach the dream – valuable things must be left behind.

Some of us are stuck, we are never really able to enter into the Grand Vision Jesus has for us because we have a Covered Wagon full of stuff we can’t let go of.

The Grander the Vision the higher the Price Tag. Jesus understands the price tag. Jesus understands what it means to leave something valuable behind in order to enter into a Dark World. Jesus left Heaven behind. Jesus left the comfort of the Trinity behind and let go of the Glory that belongs to Him in order to be mocked and Crucified. Jesus even laid aside his life. He left all these valuable things behind for the Grander Vision; bringing us out of Darkness and giving us a Hope.

Jesus wants his partners to understand to be a part of bringing Hope into the World. You will be asked to leave Valuable things behind.

What kinds of things might Jesus ask us to leave behind? Are you stuck?

Do those you lead see the sacrifice you are making? Do you back away from asking people to make sacrifices?

Questions:

  1. How are you faced with the Credit test? Do you feel a hunger for credit, or the need to tell others what you have done, how much experience you have had, how large you have grown your organization? Do you like to name-drop? How do you pass the Credit Test in a Social Media Culture?
  2. Why is humility such an important characteristic of a healthy Team? How do Credit Hogs hurt a team?
  3. Does Jesus Grand vision fit into your career? How?
  4. How strong are you at casting a Grander Vision into the lives of those under your leadership or are you just assigning them tasks?
  5. What kinds of things might Jesus ask us to leave behind? Are you stuck?
  6. Do those you lead see the sacrifice you are making? Do you back away from asking people to make sacrifices?

 

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips

Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

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