Global Leadership Summit 2011 – Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil

Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times

Acts 1 – And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and in Samaria.

Jerusalem is easy. It’s our home. Our comfort zone. But even in the place we call home, amid the safety of being around other people like us, it still takes a catalytic leader to usher in change.

Judea is a little harder. We know these people, but they aren’t like us. We can’t really relate. Maybe we are different in our politics, etc.

Samaria is that place where we just don’t fit at all. Samaria is the place of child sex-trafficking, children being trained as soldiers, people living in trash heaps in India, District 6 in South Africa, the neighborhood in my city that I avoid if at all possible and if I do have to go through it I lock my door.

How do we move from where we are to where Jesus calls us to be? From our comfort zones into our culture and the world around us? It takes a catalytic event – something that pushes us!

In Acts 2, God sends the “catalyst” in the person of the Holy Spirit. Souls were caught on fire.

I like this…If you catch on fire, people are gonna gather around to watch you burn!

As leaders, we must realize that the Spirit is moving just as much today as it did in Acts 2.

And like Peter, we need to be ready to answer the question of what the catalytic events in our day mean.

Pray for a divine mandate. We can’t do something about everything, but we can do something about some things. Pray and ask: “God – break my heart for what breaks your heart.”

Name your catalytic events. Stop walking by them, ignoring them. Ask God: “What are you doing? How is Your Spirit moving in this context?”

We need leaders who see seismic shifts not as catastrophes but as catalytic events.

Mobilize people to go! Faith without works is dead. We’ve got to move out of our Jerusalem’s into Judea. We’ve got to go beyond our Judea and into Samaria – not just to help but to learn. Acknowledge that you need their help. Where’s your Samaria? Wherever you identify it! That’s the place God is calling you to go!

Personal Insight: The prayer “Spirit fall fresh on me!” is a big prayer. I’m asking the Lord for courage and for eyes to see where my Samaria is. I’m praying for new languages to fill me – the language and ability to reach out to those not like me and truly love them in the name of Jesus.


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