July 14 – Leadership – Invite

Read 1 Corinthians 11:1

A few years ago, my husband, Jon, and I were asked to be co-adult leaders for a team of teens on a short-term mission trip to southern California to put on a Bible School for a small Hispanic church. 

Team members were from churches all over the country and none of us had met before meeting at the Columbus airport.  Many of the team members had grown up in their individual churches and even served in some capacity but hadn’t stepped out of that bubble.

In preparation, each team member was given a copy of the book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg.  It basically said, if you want big things to happen in your spiritual life like what happened to Peter in Matthew 14, you need to move out of your comfort zone and take risks.

Out of our comfort zones we went!  Scary? Yes! But one foot at a time we climbed out of the boat, expecting to stay afloat as long as we kept our eyes on Christ and the mission He asked us to do.

We had tons of hurdles we had to not only face but jump over. There was a hurdle of getting to know each other, plus the language and cultural barriers once we met the kids we would be teaching.

Week one was dedicated to team building and getting a taste of the culture of the kids of the church. The second week was actually teaching Bible school lessons.  This, believe it or not, was a relief because, even though we were from a wide variety of backgrounds, we had one thing in common – our love of the gospel!  With God’s help, we survived and everyone, including us leaders, grew both in empathy for others and our own spirituality.  None of that would have happened if we hadn’t all been willing to get out of the “Boat”, trust God and lead others to Christ.

We are all leaders in some capacity, be it at work, in the home, or with friends and family members.  People are watching you, whether you know it or not, especially if they know you are a Christian. They are looking to you for guidance in this crazy world of ours. How can you invite them into leadership to learn from you and also from Christ?

Are you telling people, as Paul said in our reading today, “Follow my example, as I follow Christ”? If not, who can you take under your wing and teach them to lead?

After all, their first step is simply to “Get out of the boat”!

Pat Arnold

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