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Jesus on Leadership: Inject a Little Fear

I love a good leadership principle learned from observing Jesus.

There’s a story in Matthew 14:22-33.

Perhaps you’ve read it, but in case you haven’t, let me summarize.

After a long day of teaching, Jesus made His disciples get into a boat at night and head out to sea. After a few hours had passed, Jesus came to them walking on water.

It was dark, late, and Jesus scared them, thinking He was a ghost.

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Jesus assured them it was Him, to which Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you out on the water.”

Peter joined Jesus walking on water, until He saw the wind and began to sink. Jesus saved Peter, got in the boat, and they were amazed at the power of God. (End of story)

Sermons and books have been written about this story.

I believe it’s 100% true. It actually happened. My God is awesome.

What I want to consider this look at the story, however, is a leadership principle.

Jesus was leading the disciples to become “fishers of men.”

He was teaching them His way so they could continue a mission…which would launch a church…which continues even today.

In this story, Jesus introduced fear, challenge, and He stretched their faith.


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Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.