28 January 2017
Reading: Exodus 21-22; Psalm12; Acts 4
They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus. (Acts 4:13 MSG)
A few years ago Jean and I led a group of young interns in a six-week practicum assignment. We assigned them to work in groups and create a “fantasy church” with a realistic vision, strategy, location, facilities, budget, and staff, and then to design a Leadership Development plan to identify, recruit, train, and release leaders to accomplish their objectives.
This was a class of kids in their early twenties who had completed one year of Local Church Internship and were half way through their final year. As we listened to their reports I was blown away by their confidence and passion. Their work and their reports were thoughtful, thorough, and insightful. I had no doubt that as leaders of churches, they could be clearer on what they were trying to accomplish and more strategic on how they went about it than many church leaders in America today.
The Jewish religious leaders who saw Peter and John standing in the courtroom telling their faith story were amazed by their understanding and their confidence. Like them, I was blown away by these passionate kids!
Here’s an important lesson for leaders. Don’t underestimate people! Don’t underestimate volunteers. Don’t underestimate young people. Don’t underestimate your kids. Expect more, ask for more, and don’t be so surprised when you get it!
If you are in a leadership role in business or ministry, if you are a parent or teacher, are you calling out the best in those you lead? Equip them, commission them, put them in situations that call out the best in them. Let them be confident companions of Jesus!
Father, In the years I and my peers have left to serve you and the church, help us pour more of ourselves into developing others and less into doing it ourselves. How do we change the patterns of a lifetime? I know we have to change from the inside out. Thanks for another lesson I am not likely to forget. Help us to call out the best in those we lead and influence. For your Kingdom’s sake. Amen!