This week I am beginning a series on Leadership. You may think, well, I’m not a leader. Yes, you are. Everyone leads someone, even if it’s just your dog! As Christians we are all role models and re-present Christ in our lives. That requires leadership training. I will be focusing on the Apostle Peter and his life as a follower of Jesus and an eventual leader. It was necessary for him to be trained by the Master and to learn how to be effective. He will be our example for the next eight weeks.
Simon Peter’s name means ‘he who hears’. That’s so interesting because listening is the first leadership trait we see developed in his life. Jesus obviously deemed listening a necessary character trait for Simon Peter yet it needed some ‘tweaking’. Let’s think about some aspects of listening.
How about listening to God? Before his name change, Simon (later called Peter) was an impulsive spewer. He reacted with his mouth often before he took the time to think. Simon was rebuked by Jesus but eventually matured into a seasoned listener. He sat at the feet of Christ and listened to Him for three years. He allowed God to speak into his life. How about you? Are you listening to God or just constantly talking? Scripture is clear that we need to develop our listening skills when we spend time with Him.
My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart. (Proverbs 4:20, 21 NLT)
What about listening to others? Would people say that you’re a good listener? Do you give them eye contact? Do you listen while checking email or reading something? Do you put people on speakerphone so you can do other things? People need you to listen with your ears but also your heart. They need you to listen without responding, without giving advice, and without drawing attention away from them and to yourself.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19 NLT)
Who are you listening to? Leaders should not be afraid to take advantage of good counsel. Moses listened to Jethro and David listened to Nathan; both made good choices. Listening to the ‘right voice’ will keep you on the right path in leadership.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. (Proverbs 12:15 NLT)
I have written a book on Leadership which is published only on my website. It goes into more detail in all of these areas and more. It is downloadable for free at www.thecourseoflife.com under Resources. You can click on each chapter individually. I hope you will take advantage of the insights God has given me in the life of Simon Peter and my own years of Christian leadership.