Summary: My hope is to challenge each of you towards leadership. But I warn you that my definition of church leadership that I am challenging you with today is a little different from what you might be thinking leadership within the church is all about.
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive.
Today and next Sunday we are going to look at the challenge Jesus issued Peter to be a leader.
My hope is to challenge each of you towards leadership. But I warn you that my definition of church leadership that I am challenging you with today is a little different from what you might be thinking leadership within the church is all about.
Today my definition of church leadership is people ministering to people.
Pastor Joel Comiskey is a top authority on church cell group development. I ran across this a couple of weeks ago.
He writes, “While the church has done a good job of training people to go directly to God, by and large, it has failed to train people to minister to others. The pastor is considered the priest, the only one fit to minister. This barrier, tied with a lack of mentoring, produces a church of spectators who watch the pastoral performance each Sunday.”
The point that Joel is making here is that the church has fallen far from the New Testament Christianity that the Apostle Peter wrote about when he described the church as “A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” 1 Peter 2:9
The Apostle Peter understood the Biblical meaning of leadership in that it was all about people ministering to people.
So when I say today that I am challenging you to church leadership I am not saying that you are all going to be teachers, trustees, SAB members, youth workers, worship leaders, or pastors.
What I want to talk with you about today is much broader than those things. What I want to talk about is involvement. Your involvement. In other words, I am talking about each of you within the church becoming involved within the body of Christ by ministering to one another. This is one of our core values.
If you can do this then you are a leader within the church, one who is leading by example.
In John 21 we find an occurrence of Jesus appearing to the disciples during the time between His resurrection and His ascension to heaven.
Simon Peter is the man who is getting the attention of Jesus in this passage.
The disciples are out fishing on the lake in a boat and they are not having any luck. Jesus appears to them and tells them to put their nets on the other side of the boat and when they did that, they caught a huge amount of fish.
It was at this point John recognized that it was Jesus on shore and tells Peter. The impatient, impetuous man that Peter is forces him to jump out of the boat and swim to shore to see Jesus.
Peter is eager to be with Him, even after he had denied him three times the night Jesus was arrested.
READ John 21:15-22
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
The Apostle Peter’s role in the history of the church is being defined right before our eyes in these Scriptures. He was no longer going to be known as Simon Peter who denied Christ.