Christ’s Leadership in the Secular World
By: Philip Mantofa
After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves
this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I
serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ Acts: 27:21-24)
An apostle was drifted in the middle of the ocean, with a Roman centurion, the ship crews, and other convicts. They could’ve avoided this disaster had they listened to Paul and did not set
sail. Paul warned them about the bad weather and the disaster that would befall the ship right when the weather was anything but good. Ironically, as a convict because of the Gospel he preached,
Paul was the agent of comfort and strength to the 276 people on board the doomed vessel. Those people were so desperate that they no longer remembered to eat. Their hope for survival had
drifted away with the broken pieces of their ship. In a situation like this, Paul’s leadership—Christ’s Leadership—shone ever brightly!
We, too, have the same calling as Paul. God longs for His children to take charge in time of crisis, as well as in any secular situation. Outside of the church walls is where “salt” is saltiest. Our
light should shine brighter at the workplace and at home. In fact, wherever problems and hopelessness are found, divine leadership is born!
Here are some wisdom to Christ’s leadership—through us—in the secular world:
1. Be an inspiration and influence, even though we are at an unfavorable position!
Do you remember Paul’s position in this story? Yes, he was a convict! Even though he had not been found guilty, his position was still unfavorable. As a prisoner, he had been denied the right to
speak on his own behalf, much more to talk as a leader. However, God is an expert in opening doors for those in whom He is pleased and who long to rise up for Him to be an influence.
Opportunities are God’s best creation in the midst of troubles. When the ungodly is thrown into confusion, it is the day of promotion for a godly leader who is ready with God’s solution. In the worst of
crisis, Christ’s character and His firm leadership are desperately sought after. Somebody has to fulfill that call, fill this need, and stand in the gap—and it is not a position in an organization, but a
source of courage, wisdom and inspiration!
2. Be a reliable agent of Hope!
So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (Acts 27:25) . With this saying, Paul restored their hope. When it looks like a dead-end, position yourself as
Christ’s agent of hope in your world. Lead the way and pay the price to gain faith, by entering deeper into God’s presence on others’ behalf. They who befriend the Lord have one advantage; they
see further than the faithless world—more than a few steps ahead—and find hope. Therefore, pray!
3. Make decisions with a sound mind!
Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to
take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” (Acts 27:33-34)
Leadership needs to give a prompt and accurate answer. Even though Paul was a spiritual man who was anointed by the Holy Spirit, he also used reasons. He knew that the hungry would not find
strength to swim to the shore when the ship sank. They would be most useless when they were most needed. Moreover, the physically weak and starved would become a serious burden to all later
on.Thus, they must eat. Indeed, oftenly, it is the “down-to-earth” decision that could save a company from its downfall. Common sense is, after all, a wisdom of the Holy Spirit!
4. Witness Christ in the most polite and natural way!
After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. (Acts 27: 35-36)
Look at the change in the hearts of these sea-battered men: their spirit had been revived by the apostle’s leadership. Now, Paul wouldn’t miss this opportunity to witness to them. He did it by giving
thanks to God before they began to eat, so they would know who the Source of his Wisdom and strength is who has been such a blessing to them—Christ! Evangelism doesn’t always have to be
aggressive; our testimonies could be easily accepted if we have been a blessing in the first place. Then, with a simple touch of politeness, the name of Jesus can naturally be glorified and lifted-up.
Who ever thought that saying grace before meal could lead to salvation!