If we can trust God with something as big as our eternal salvation, then surely we can trust Him with every minute detail of our lives. Everything rises and falls on leadership. As goes the leader, so goes everyone else. People don’t care what you say when your life doesn’t match what comes out of your mouths. Jesus hammered the Pharisees and other hypocrites for this very reason.
Leaders must learn to lead not just by their words, but by the way they live their lives. Peter exhorted the other elders of the church to feed the flock.
1. Leaders must be called to humility and repentance before the church can ever experience true revival. If the church leadership would get revival through humility and confession, can you imagine what would happen within the local church? The church isn’t seeing a mighty movement of God because the leaders aren’t experiencing it themselves.
We don’t ask the church members to do something that the leaders aren’t willing to do themselves. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Peter identified himself as an elder who also witnessed the sufferings of Christ. At GVBC, our church structure tries to follow closely the church described in the book of Acts.
A lot of preachers are afraid of vulnerability, and build the persona that their kids are always wonderful, their marriages are rock-solid, their finances are all in order, their health is perfect. Yet the more vulnerable a pastor reveals himself to be, the more God can accomplish in that church.
Peter remembered the anguish he felt after denying Christ and watching Him suffer. Yet on the day of Pentecost (50 days later), this same man stood before a crowd and preached on repentance and 3,000 were saved as a result. This is possibly the most important sermon that has ever been preached.
What Peter saw that day with Christ forever changed him.
When he was crucified as an old man, out of humility, Peter requested that he be hung upside-down because he felt himself unworthy to die the same way Christ died.
2. A true encounter with Jesus will increase your boldness and passion. You can’t possibly have a genuine encounter with Christ and live life the same way you did before. After such an encounter with Jesus, your faith will be unshakable.
It wasn’t the eloquence of speech by those who were with Jesus, but the boldness of their speech. You are a witness to what Jesus does in your life and no one can take that from you.
Don’t seek to be a teacher, because teachers will receive the greater condemnation from God.
Scripture says to feed the sheep, not slop the hogs. Open the Bible and feed the sheep. You don’t even have to look for hungry people. Someone has to take responsibility for the growth of the church. There is only one Biblical responsibility borne by the pastor: open the word of God and feed the people.
3. People are starving for the truth of God’s word. People come from all over to hear the word of God preached. The application of the word of God changes people’s lives. Bibles have become the centerpiece on our living room tables, but not the centerpiece of our lives.
And so we must lead by example.