If you haven’t heard yet, we will be traveling through the Book of Acts this semester. Of many themes contained in the book, I hope we discover the original meaning and purpose of the Church. As we read this book and unearth its lessons, I plan to post observations related to leadership for you, our CCW Leadership. If the church matters to Jesus, then its leadership also matters. Now, I’m not promising a weekly reflection. But as I see insights, I’ll make a post. Get excited, y’all!
So right in Ch 1 is a crazy story about how leaders are chosen. Go read Acts 1:12-26. I’ll just warn you – it’s a little weird. But it seems that as the disciples are settling in to being together and waiting for Jesus’ promise (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Ch. 2), Peter feels the need to clear the air about Judas. You remember that guy. He betrayed Jesus, which led to the Messiah’s death. Judas couldn’t handle the weight of his actions and according to Scripture, takes his own life. In an effort to make sense of it all, Peter tries to frame all of that drama through the lens of something they already know – the Hebrew Bible. That part is pretty clumsy in my opinion, but Peter is gonna get better at the public communication thing in just one chapter! As he explains why all of this happened, the issue arises that someone needs to take Judas’ place in the circle of the twelve. Theologians have interpreted the reasons for this to be related to the significance of the 12 tribes of Israel. After a few prayers and lots cast, Matthias becomes the replacement as the twelfth disciple. Again, it’s weird – but there is a leadership lesson here.
We never know when God needs another woman or man to step up and bring leadership to the Community of Witnesses. There are lots of practical reasons for new leaders that are much more positive than death. In CCW, we’ve had a lot of staff turnover in our 6 years. Ninety percent of it was stage of life, time to move on, super positive reasons. These transitions are somewhat predictable. But often, God is looking for new leaders and we aren’t aware of it.
Did you notice in the text (Acts 1:21-22) that they chose two dudes who had been with him from the beginning? These guys were being watched and they didn’t even know there would be an opening in the movement. I doubt either of them were like, ‘one of these 12 guys is gonna crack so I better exert some real influence before the Last Supper so I’m first on the list for a promotion.’ No one saw this leadership vacuum coming.
Years ago, I heard Brian Houston say: ‘God never wastes prepared people.’ I want to confirm for you that I believe his statement as I’ve watched God do this in my own life. What I’ve learned is that God is always looking to see what we’ll do with what we’ve been given. This season in CCW is significant for you all as leaders; it’s an opportunity to ‘work as unto the Lord’. There are no open positions on CCW paid staff right now, but God never wastes prepared people and the mission is bigger than us.
So let’s take a lesson from Matthias. He doesn’t get mentioned until Acts 1, but was clearly bringing his A-game to the movement of Jesus way before that. This is the kind of leadership God is looking for, and these are the kinds of leaders our community needs if we’re going to be faithful with our campuses. Your leadership matters.