Peter's Precept

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EDITORS NOTE: This is part 3 of a three-part series on Peter. Read the Peter Principle (part 1) here. Read the Peter Pan Principle (part 2) here.

In review, the Peter Principle suggests that, "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to the level of his incompetence."

The Peter Pan Principle has a few varieties, but the essence of the principle is that, as a leader, "I don't believe in myself and will soon suffer exposure. So, I'm fearful of original work. I may appear to be flying, but I know a cable is attached."

Today, we will consider the apostle Peter's Precept.

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Peter's letters were, of course, written to Christians. But Peter frequently specified leaders in his writing. He called out "elders and shepherds."

He begins chapter five of his first letter, "I exhort the elders who are among you." It's clear that leaders should take note of what follows.

Consider this passage:

"Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, take care of them, not by constraint, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly. Do not lord over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock" (1 Pet. 5:2-3).

His coaching appears in various forms in almost any leadership book or training. Peter's exhortation is a primer to all leaders. But I want to focus your attention on something Peter issues as a directive in Chapter 4 verse 10. I've called this passage "Peter's Precept." It is perhaps the most profound statement of what a leader should be and do.

"As everyone has received a gift, even so serve one another with it, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Pet. 4:10).

It seems this single verse would serve as an illustrative text to, at least, a six-part sermon series.

Leaders, use your gifts. In a magnificent dispensation of grace, God gives us the gifts we need to lead in the place we serve. I don't need to shop at Amazon for more leadership gifts. I don't need to beg, borrow or steal your gifts. Godly leaders do not serve in "want."

When we feel conflicted and embattled, it seems our first cry is for more personal strength to handle the current battle. Many of us have learned to cease the shouts of "I got this, Lord." Experienced leaders have learned to sing, "I need Thee every hour."

Some days I hear the Lord sing back to me ...

"So, I gifted you, YES, I gifted you, YES, I knew this hour would come."

God's grace is sufficient for a called leader. A limping leader need only review his personal inventory of God's gifts.

"I can do all things because of Christ Jesus who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). ... with gifts. 

Peter's precept is, "Use what God gave you to serve others." Be a good steward of His grace.




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Try this exercise. Ask five people who know you fairly well this question:

"If you were to remember and pass along only one thing I have shared with you, what would it be?" Press for an answer beyond a Scripture you have shared.

Now, consider what you WANT people to remember about what you say. What is your most primary message?  What do you say that helps people the most?

When you know this message, you know your platform message.

Now consider, where do you show up, over and over, to deliver your message?



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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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