Leaders Do Before They Call

In reading about Capernaum I noticed an interesting thing about Jesus – he began his ministry without any followers. The message of the gospel was primary. He began to share it first before calling the disciples. In Matthew it says:

When He heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. He left Nazareth behind and went to live in Capernaum by the sea… From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near! ” As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people! ” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. (‭Matthew‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13, 17-20‬ HCSB)



I think sometimes we hesitate to move because we don’t have a team, support, or help. Make no mistake, Jesus knew he was going to call the disciples to give everything up to follow him. But he didn’t hold his primary message back until that point. He was in the business of accomplishing his mission when he called the disciples. He didn’t wait. He was doing as he asked them join him in what he was doing. 



As leaders the important lesson here is that people want to join you in what you are a part of; they want to join you in what you are doing. As you build teams you give ministry away. But the idea is that you have ministry TO give away. The joke with people who can’t get a job is that they are holding out for a management position. When in actuality they are stalling. Instead they should do and work their way up. Same in leadership. Don’t hold out. Start. Then lead. 

Ordinary People, Ordinary Places

IMG_4284 The thing that encourages me the most from traveling to Israel is the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Israel is a small country.  It’s beautiful, but so is California.  The Jewish people, well lets face it, they messed up a lot.  The sea of Galilee is a small area in a small country.  The disciples were a motley crew.  They were mostly fishermen plus a tax-collector.  An unimpressive collection of hot-heads, thieves, rednecks, self-promoters, religious radicals, and barely believers. IMG_4308 And in this small region, in this small country, with a shaky cast, Jesus changed the world and forever changed our destinies.  The extraordinary out of the ordinary.  And it gives me hope, as it should you.  No matter how meaningless you think your life is, no matter how small your town may be, no matter how tucked away your cubicle might seem, God sees you, just as Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree, Zaccheus in the tree, and Matthew at the tax booth.  He sees you and He wants to use you and He can use you.  What we see from each of those 12 men were a willingness.  Oswald Chambers calls it a “reckless abandon.” IMG_4257 The story of God’s historical tapestry is not woven with fine golden thread and silk.  Rather, it is entwined with those of us made of ordinary cotton, burlap, and wool.  But in God’s hands, those ordinary ingredients can form something so beautiful, so powerful, it can change thousands of years and millions of people. IMG_4301