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The Frozen Leader

Does your church, team, or organization feel frozen? Stuck?

Sometimes churches are frozen in methodologies and systems that have long stopped being effective. When our current ways of working aren’t expanding and growing the Kingdom the way God wants, we have to do something different.

Or sometimes we may even want what God ultimately wants but we keep trying the same things—even working harder and harder—yet with little or no results.

According to Luke’s account, after Jesus declared himself to be messiah in His hometown synagogue and quotes an outrageous prophecy from Isaiah about the Day of the Lord and the coming kingdom, he had some followers but hadn’t chosen the twelve yet. We know that he at least knows who Peter is because he earlier healed his mother-in-law.

And then this happened:

Once when he (Jesus) was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God.

He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.

When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”

Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.”

It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.

Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.”

When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon.

Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. LUKE 5:1–11 (MESSAGE VERSION)

In other words, Jesus is saying, “You’ve been working really hard at this. And you’re good at it, but I’m going to take you away from the shore, away from what’s familiar to you, out into deeper waters, and I’m going to show you how to really fish.”

The status quo worked at one time, but not now. They have to change their strategy. It doesn’t mean that it’s not working for others, but Jesus is about obedience, not methodologies. He’s about submission, not personal agendas.

I wonder what would happen if we leaders submitted our way of doing things—and sincerely asked God how he would have us do it instead? And then simply obeyed.

Too simple? Maybe. But wouldn’t it be worth a try if we haven’t even caught a minnow?

Dave Workman | The Elemental Group


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