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Let’s Talk Extraordinary

Recently, I was reading John MacArthur’s book: Twelve Ordinary Men. He points out how, in Matthew Chapters 8, 9, and 10, Jesus shares leadership responsibilities with his disciples. Our Lord chose ordinary men and trained them to become extraordinary leaders. There are four natural progressions in their training. First, they simply followed Jesus. These followers grew as they listening to and learned from His teachings. A fundamental principle of discipleship and leadership training is that you cannot be trained as a leader if you are not interested in learning and following. In other words, it is difficult to lead others if you have not first learned to follow. How can you lead if you do not understand being led? Second, there must be commitment. When Jesus called these men, they left everything to follow him. You cannot be trained to lead others if you fail to commit. If there is absence of self-sacrifice, there is absence of service. There is a connection between dying to self and service to God and for God. We are living in the most self centered society since the days of Noah. Jesus showed His followers the virtue of true servant leadership. Commitment to something greater than self gain is the key to becoming a servant leader like our Wonderful Lord. Third, there is internship. The Twelve had experiential opportunities and were privileged to spend premium time with Jesus being mentored and taught by Him. Think of it. How would you like to be mentored personally by the Son of God! Such education and experience can not be obtained in Seminary. It is through the process of internship that their character was shaped and their destiny fashioned. The final step of leadership training is empowerment for specific service. This is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus instructed followers to stay in Jerusalem until they receive the dynamic power from the Holy Spirit so that they might fulfill the Great Commission (Acts 1:8). These were ordinary men. It was the power of the Holy Spirit that made the difference. The lesson here is God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things so that He can be glorified. John MacArthur says, “God’s favorite instruments are nobodies, so that no man can boast before God.” (Reference: John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men (Nashville: Nelson, 2002), 15-19)