Five Leadership Tests

I recently listened to Bill Hybels sermon on Luke 5 called Five Leadership Tests. This blog post consist of the notes I took from this message (Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Podcast, 9/10/17) Luke chapter five is the calling of the first disciples and it’s a passage I have read and studied many times. I loved the angle of this message with the five leadership tests that Peter went through with Jesus.

It begins with Jesus teaching a crowd that continues to grow in number. As he runs out of space, Jesus gets the idea to stand and preach from a boat near the water’s edge.

He needs to solve a simple problem – a preaching and space problem. At the same time, he also needs to start building a team. He uses this situation to test Peter.

Bias for Action

This was the first test for Peter. Jesus could have easily rowed the boat out himself. But instead, he asked Peter to row the boat out from the shore. Even if he was tired from fishing all night, Peter responded and passed the Bias for Action. “Yes, I will help you right now.” Jesus knew he needed to pass this test. If he was going to eventually be a disciple, he would he have to be ready for action.

Disciples have a bias for action. Were you once ready to go, now you’re just here? Were you once active but you’re passive now or a spectator? No matter what stage of life we’re in, we need to be people who have a bias for action for everything God asks us to do.

Obedience Test

Peter passed the Bias for Action test, then Jesus went on to the second level. When the sermon was over, Jesus gave Peter an assignment. Push out into deep water and let your nets down for a catch. Peter vacillates. He starts to give reasons why that’s not a good idea and how it probably won’t work.

This could have been the end of the test. But in the nick of time, he says the famous words, “but, because you say so, I will.”

Hybels said, “I took the first letters of this phrase and have used it in my journal many times since then.”

BYSSIWBecause You Say So I Will.

Become that person who answers God this way.

When Jesus finds a person who says, “Because you say so, I will” powerful miracles can happen!

If you go down the path of disobedience, it usually ends badly or sadly. One path leads to sadness and trainwrecks in our lives, the other leads to joy and favor. It’s up to us to choose to respond in obedience to Christ.

Who Deserves The Credit Test

Peter lets down his nets and so many fish are caught that the nets begin the break and boats begin to sink. It truly is a miracle. Peter could have started puffing out his chest and talking about his big catch of fish. Instead, he falls on his knees and says, I’m a sinful man, go away from me Jesus. In this moment, Peter is basically giving credit to God. He can see Jesus has powers that go beyond anything he’d ever known. Grow in the practice of gratitude – learn to say, “it was all you God.” When he sees the humility he continues to bless.

Grander Vision

Peter has passed through these first three levels, then Jesus talks with Peter after the big catch. There’s actually something more fun than a big catch and a big paycheck. It’s partnering with me to bring about change in the lives of people. The thrill of the people business is even more fun than that!  Would you consider being a fisher of men and women?

Peter could barely realize what Jesus was saying that day. But he went, and he caught on. By the end of Peter’s life, he was more concerned about the people business than most anything.

The Holy Spirit nudges and calls us. Pray this prayer: “How do you want to the grander vision to look in my life”?

Don’t get to the end of life and wish you had gotten involved in the people business. Trust in God’s plan, and listen to his voice. Go be fishers of men and women alongside of excelling in your profession.

Will You Leave It All Behind Test

Sometimes, in the course of your walk with God, he will ask you to make breathtaking sacrifices. He asks us to leave behind the most comfortable thing. When God calls us, we may need to leave our comfort zone to go to the unknown. It doesn’t always happen. Every Christian is called to be a fisher of men, but in some circumstances, you may be called to leave everything behind to start a new journey altogether.

“And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.”

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