Take my hand: a leadership fundamental

The book of Acts describes the birth of the Christian church. The disciples and followers of Jesus began spreading the good news and fulfilling their leadership roles in establishing His beloved church.

As Christians, we are also called to leadership roles in God’s kingdom. Regardless of your season in life, you have an assignment. Students, you may act as the voice of purity in a youth culture under constant attack to serve the world and not God. Men, are you married? Do you have children? You are called to provide the spiritual leadership for your family. Women, what talents have you been given that can be used to convey Jesus’ love to those in need? Regardless of age or gender, your calling may be at your place of work. Who has God placed in your life that needs your voice to speak His truth and love into their situation? If you ask, God will reveal this person to you. Take thirty seconds and listen.

When we realize that God has placed us in a leadership role RIGHT NOW, not when we believe that the time would be right (when I’m older, when I graduate, when I get a new job, when I have more time, …, when, when, when…), then we are pressed with the seriousness of this responsibility. God has chosen you to spread His Gospel, to reach those who need to know about His love for them. You are uniquely equipped to speak to those people that God placed in your life. We can look to Acts chapter 3 to learn how we are to fulfill this important leadership role.

In chapter 3, Peter and John are going to the temple complex to pray. It is the 3 pm hour of prayer. They encounter a man lame from birth who is begging at the gate. He asks Peter and John for their help. I imagine that he did not even look them in the eye, but simply made the same request he made over and over again each day to those that passed by him without a second glance (on their way to prayer).

Here is leadership point 1 (verse 3): Peter and John looked intently at him and said, “Look at us.” They noticed him, even though they were on their way to do something else. Their focus was not their task, but rather it was on the needs of those around them.

The lame man was called into immediate, intimate communication with them by their response. He had an expectation of money, but their answer promised something very different. Peter said (verse 6), “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have, I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

This brings us to leadership point 2: while we may not have the answer to every problem, we do have something to offer. Give what you have. God will multiply what you offer to meet any need. (Remember how Jesus fed the five thousand with the meager supplies that were offered to Him in John 6?)

My favorite part of the lame man’s story, and what I believe to be an important teaching, is that Peter did not stop with his amazing statement to “get up and walk!” In verse 7, he takes the man by the right hand and raises him up. As soon as he did this, the man’s feet and ankles became strong and he was able to walk.

Leadership point 3 is to take him (or her) by the hand. Once you have identified someone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus and you have been obedient in providing that word, don’t stop. Take them by the hand and raise them up. You can offer to meet with them once a week. You can invite them to church and then buy them lunch afterwards. You can offer your ear to hear their story, to listen to their journey.

I encourage you in your leadership. Your obedience today sews seeds that will grow into new life tomorrow. God bless you!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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