From Peter To Leader

From Peter To Leader

Feb 22, 2013

From Peter to leader

by Kevin Butler


Korner laying bricks


Over the last month or so, I’ve been preaching my way through the letter of 1 Peter. The apostle wrote to encourage new believers in Asia who were undergoing terrible persecution for their faith.

He challenged the young Christians to continue believing in something grand—to believe in a grand purpose for this world and for their lives. But how could he bring hope from their suffering?

Peter preached about the resurrection, an event he knew something about. He taught about the resurrection not as some isolated miracle of the past, but as a current reality.

How could this help them in their oppressed condition? Peter laid out a fascinating formula that would lead them to hope. Here’s how it went:

These Christians were suffering.

They were suffering for their faith.

Their faith was in the resurrected Christ.

His resurrection provided for their resurrection.

Their resurrection gave them new birth.

Their new birth gave them hope!


Their suffering could lead to hope.

As I read through this letter, I couldn’t help but notice that Peter used a ton of Old Testament references. Wasn’t this the unschooled, brash fisherman? How did he become a powerful, persuasive writer of theology? He had been with Jesus.

Peter had seen Jesus turn to the Word of God when confronting the religious leaders. He saw Jesus use the Word as the basis of lifestyle and choices.

So Peter called his readers to drink the pure milk of the Word—and not to stop there. They were to taste and see that it was good, come closer to Jesus, and then grow and become living stones in the church, the church that was headed by the Cornerstone of Jesus.

Just as their path to hope was a progression, so was their path to becoming “priests.” These persecuted and outnumbered believers were to grow from infants to being bricks in the church’s spiritual structure. It would take some “stepping stones,” with a lot of “getting rid” and “putting on.” They were not to be satisfied with where they were spiritually. They needed to keep growing into the fabric of the church body.

As Peter was mentored by Jesus, it was his turn to instill faith and leadership in others. It must have worked; we’re still living out this faith 2,000 years later.

Those who are mature in the faith—the living stones of the church—need to encourage others to step into positions of leadership. We should “do Blunch” as Matt Olson suggests on page 4; “Be a Timothy, Pursue a Paul” as Dusty Mackintosh encourages on page 6; and “Invest for Eternity” following the lead of John Pethtel on page 9.

Thanks to the leadership of Jesus, the leadership of Peter, and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can be “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” We may continue, here in the 21st century, to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Once we were “not a people,” but now we are the “people of God.”

May we lead, teach others to lead, and lead all to Christ.

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