A Lesson on Leadership from Pentecost

One way you see the difference in what kind of leader a person is, is how they take their leadership office. For example, when you are comfortable having men and women around you who might be more talented than you and it does not matter to you, is a key sign that you’re a good leader. I am not suggesting that you relinquish power or stand for arrogance and insolence from the talented around you. Ambition to lead is healthy in any person. It is however, unhealthy when desire to lead turns into a hunger that can only be satisfied by leading.  Such desire does become destructive.

A key element for failed leadership in Zambian politics is a clear ambition in candidates who turn their desire to lead IMG_4801into hunger that can only be satisfied by winning office.  When you look at our political parties today nearly all of them have been birthed or are led by leaders who think it is their right to lead.  For them leadership, starts and ends with them. It is either them in leadership positions or the political party goes into extinction.  Their hunger is similar to the one Saul had, which led him to build a statue of himself and drove him to attempted murder of David.

Peter is one leader who was not looking to be a leader of the church until he was supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. On that day 120 people were filled with the Holy Spirit and when it seemed like chaos was going to rule, the bible tells us that Peter stood up with the eleven other disciples. But it was Peter who raised his voice and spoke up. Suddenly, Peter was ushered into leadership of the church transcendentally.  What you appreciate about Peter’s message on that day is that he did not focus on himself, but on the audience, such that at the end people asked, “What shall we do?

This is the same Peter who 50 days ago filled with fear for his life had denied Jesus when a mere servant girl recognized him as one of the Lord’s followers.  Now the same Peter who knew the danger of preaching Christ tells the highest religious court in Jerusalem, “Judge for yourself whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. Imagine how 120 people two thousand years ago turned Jerusalem upside down in one day, and how the church grew in the following days as people heard the gospel from men and women filled with the Holy Spirit.  When we have a genuine infilling of the Holy Spirt of God, we are empowered with courage to preach the gospel-we have no other choice.  A presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives gives us a vision of the holiness of God.  It leads us to see our own wickedness and leads us to repentance of our sinfulness and then to experience the fire of God in our bones which leads us to shout, “Send me Lord”

Peter is a great example of a leader who walked by the power of the Holy Spirit. This week as we reflect on Pentecost, as leaders may we get inspiration from him who in the face of inconceivable persecution and hostility, got up off the ground to serve God and his church faithfully. May we remember to pray, especially for those who are serving the Lord in difficult situations that today and every day they receive encouragement and persevere through their trials knowing that Jesus is with them.  May we pray that they experience the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.