Leadership Lessons: Luke 5:1-11

“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:1-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The Test Of Leadership

Jesus gives Peter a small test. Peter’s boat is one of two. Jesus asked for Peter’s boat. Is he open to being used?  Passing this small test opened up a greater dialogue for Peter and ultimately shaped the rest of his life.

The Trial Of Leadership

In every position of leadership there are going to be trials. The role of a trial is to render a judgment. In this case Peter was on trial. What would he do, trust his own judgment or trust Jesus? Jesus was putting Peter through some trials to see his responsiveness even though Peter had a long unsuccessful night. Trials produce stress to see how we will respond. Leaders endure the stress and trust that Jesus is bringing about a result we cannot even imagine.

The Triumph Of Leadership

In the end, Peter makes a remarkably honest declaration: depart from me because I am sinful! Leadership isn’t about being perfect but about being willing to step out and even fail. Peter failed often and yet the Lord kept His promise by making Peter a fisher of men. The triumph was not because Peter passed each test well but because he endured to the end. When we are given roles of leadership the Lord isn’t asking us to do anything but to be obedient to His commands and requests. Even though we are sinful people, Jesus still uses us in great ways to bring people into His kingdom. 


Devotionals For Leaders: Make A Splash!

underwater header

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment…and plunged into the sea. —John 21:7

Jump! Are you willing to take that final step off the platform and into the pool? Are you desiring to springboard into the deeper waters of faith and obedience?

Peter in this case could not wait for the slow boat to arrive at shore. Instead, taking his shirt, with full abandon of the boat, fish and all that he had returned to after his denial, Peter launches heart-strong toward Christ. What is it that you are waiting for? What is it that you have returned to because you have felt the sting of your own denial? What is it that you feel unworthy to do?

Jesus has followed-up on His beloved disciples. They have gone back to fishing and returned to the life they knew before His calling. Little did they know that there was something greater awaiting them in the future. Peter, never the one to remain sedentary, jumps into the water to rush ahead to meet Christ. What can we learn as leaders from this quick incident?

Leaders are going to make mistakes.

Peter is a perfect example of a leader who longs to please Jesus, serve His cause and still fail. Leaders are human…even spiritual ones. Peter is however re-instated by Jesus as a leader for the church and God used Him in great ways regardless of his past mistakes. Don’t let the fear of failing keep you from moving ahead. Your past can be a springboard the Lord uses to launch you into a completely new direction!

Leaders take initiative.

Regardless of the outcome, leaders must step-up and step-out. Many times throughout his life, Peter put his foot in his mouth; but everyone knew exactly where Peter stood (on his tongue…a bad joke, I know!) Peter, ever the leader, jumps off the boat and swims to shore to meet the Lord. It’s important that leaders take the steps toward reconciliation and relational mending. Jesus modeled this ultimately by His coming to bring us back to God. And it is Jesus who first initiates a renewed relationship with Peter after the resurrection (Mark 16:7).

In this case, Peter shows his desire to be close to the Lord and have that sweet fellowship renewed. Leaders have to place a high regard and importance on relationships and always be moving toward unity and love. Even after their breakfast, Peter is not questioned on his ability but his love for the Lord. Leaders must place love for the Lord and people as their highest callings and take initiatives to cultivate those kind of relationships.

Leaders take risks.

Safety is not the role for the leader. He must be wiling to dive into the great unknown. Peter’s dive into the water here is symbolic of a baptism. He is abandoning this way of life for good. Peter has left it before but returned to it once more after his denial and then the Lord’s subsequent death. This jumping into the water paints the picture of leaving the past behind and moving ever closer to the Lord.

Jesus and Peter have a discussion after the breakfast about Peter’s love and new commissioning into service. Jesus asks Peter first: do you love me more than these? These things to which you have returned? These people that never denied? These things in which you take comfort? Peter, are you really willing to love me more than anything? Are you really willing to risk it all? Peter humbly says yes. He understands the risk being placed on him. Jesus was willing to risk on Peter once again. He will take the risk on you, also.

Leaders lead.

Shortly after reaching shore, Peter is commissioned by Christ to lead and teach people. Christ was now truly making Peter a “fisher of men” and Peter was adopting that role. Having abandoned the Lord three times, Peter is now admonished three times to fulfill leadership within the church.  And Peter does. He leads and lives out his calling. Where is God calling you to lead? What are you going to have to leave behind? What role of leadership do you need to respond to?

Final thought: When you see the Lord, don’t hesitate or wait…jump! Be obedient to His calling and your life will make a splash!

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections On 3 John 7

Quiet Time

. . . they went forth for His name’s sake . . . —3 John 7

As I prepare to leave the country today for travel to Nicaragua and El Salvador, this is a great reminder of why I am going: to advance the kingdom of God in Jesus’ name. Missionaries serving the King seek to build the King’s kingdom, not their own. I am to be about the Lord’s business and not my own endeavors. The goal is to build God’s people and encourage them in the faith.

Even though Peter had denied Christ three times, Jesus reinstated Peter and asked him of his love for Christ. And of course, Peter said yes, he did love Christ. With each confession, the Lord gave Peter some instruction, that being “feed my lambs”, “tend to my sheep” and “feed my sheep” (John 21:, 15-17). Jesus entrusted caring for people to Peter. He told him that the expression of his love for Christ was to be demonstrated in his love and care for God’s people. Peter’s assignment wasn’t to build/rebuild his reputation but to make the name of Christ greater in his own life evidenced through showering the same love and forgiveness he had received onto others.

The Lord has a plans to be sure. This plan includes using me as conduit of His love. I must stay connected to the Lord and stay in tune with His leading. I have to be “detached” from things of this world and “attached” to the things of Heaven (Colossians 3:1-3). In this way, Heaven flows to earth and it happens through me via the Holy Spirit. My devotion to the Lord must be unquestionable and unstoppable. I have to be unwavering and unflappable in the midst of circumstances that seem unexplainable. God is in control and He is sending me forth in His name and it is my privilege to call on His name in prayer for guidance all along the way.

George Lockhart