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April 2014 - Leadership Lessons from Peter

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Dr. John Kline

For several months we have examined leadership lessons from the New Testament.  Certainly Peter was one of the most significant leaders in the early church. Here are three lessons among the many we can learn from Peter

Leaders demonstrate loyalty.  When Jesus asked who men said He was, the disciples answered some said Jesus was John the Baptist or the prophet, Elijah.  But Peter boldly proclaimed “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8: 27-30) Later Jesus said that Peter was the rock on whom He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18).  Jesus would only make such a proclamation concerning a loyal follower.  This promise is the basis upon which the Catholic Church and indeed all Western Christianity declared Peter as first in the Papal succession.  Peter’s loyalty marked him as a leader ready for further responsibility.  Leaders must be loyal to their superiors, their own followers and to the cause.

Leaders learn from their mistakes.  Peter was far from perfect.  When Jesus Christ beckoned Peter to walk on water, Peter’s faith faltered and he sank.  But Peter is remembered most for his denial of Jesus in the Garden before His crucifixion.  Earlier Peter had said he would never deny Christ.  But Christ prophesied that before the rooster crowed, Peter would deny Him three times.  And he did.  But Peter was truly sorry and he learned from his mistakes. This fact can be seen clearly from Peter’s actions after the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Leaders boldly pursue the mission. After Pentecost, (Acts 2:1-13) Peter begin preaching passionately and his sermons were crucial in launching the Church.  Peter’s bold leadership in pursuing the Great Commission given by Christ to take the message to the world enabled the rapid spread of Christianity.  Acts 9:32-12:25 tell of Peter’s ministry in the early Church.  And the two Epistles which bear his name give further evidence of his passion as he boldly pursued the mission.  Leaders must focus on the mission. No organization will succeed without mission-focused leaders. 

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama
jkline@klinespeak.com

April 2014 - Leadership Lessons from Peter
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