Episode IV : Leadership Lessons from Star Wars

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08.12.14 by brent hand

So Jesus called some fishermen to start the church.  Just some teenagers no one would even think of giving the keys of their car too, much less the Kingdom.

Flash forward just a few years and these guys are the leaders of the church.  They are the ones planting the first churches, preaching the first sermons, writing the Bible and going to the “ends of the earth” to spread the gospel.

How did these guys go from nobodies to world-changers?

If you watch Star Wars the next three paragraphs are going to make alot of sense… if you don’t, well what on earth have you been doing the last three decades?  I mean come on!  It’s your duty as member of western civilization and the owner of a DVD player to know and enjoy Star Wars.  You have no excuses.

I’m a little to young to remember the first batch of Star Wars films being released (Return of The Jedi was released the year I was born).  But in 1997 they REreleased the old films to theaters for the 20th anniversary.  I was in 8th grade and my dad took me to see each one as they came out.  I remember seeing the first one and when (SPOILER ALERT) Obiwan died I just wasn’t sure how the good guys would win without him. If we’re talking about our ideas of great leaders, Obiwan is probably at the top of my list as a nerdy little 14-year-old.  Losing him was a terrible loss in my eyes.  I wasn’t sure how the Rebels would win or how Luke would learn to “use the force” without him (Of course the good guys DO win, the Empire is defeated and everyone lives happily ever after).

After seeing the movie, I often imagined that Abraham and Moses and most other Biblical Patriarchs looked like Alec Guinness.

But a few years later they released Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (not a great movie and actually the only one you can completely skip.  Except for the parts with Quigon Jin… and pod racing… and Darth Maul…  oh, heck, just watch the whole thing)  In this film we see events taking place decades before the old movies, and the Great Obiwan is just a young man.  He’s no where near the great leader he’ll become.  He’s someone else’s disciple and he’s training to become a Jedi Master.  But he’s not there yet.

And neither are we.  But that’s no excuse.  You may not feel like much of a world-changer, but that’s okay. The fishermen Jesus called weren’t ready either.  But Jesus looked at them and told them “come follow me.” Come learn to live like me.  Be more like. Come see what I do and then you’ll learn to do it too.  We’ll never get anywhere as long as our feet are planted in what we know.  As long as we’re happy to make excuses.  As long as we believe the lie that we aren’t ready yet.

You’re as ready as you’re going to be until you make a move.  Stop waiting on Jesus to do something.  I think he’s done quite enough for you, hasn’t he?

I think it’s hard to imagine every great leader started somewhere.  And at some point they were where you are today.  It’s easy when you’re watching Obiwan in the prequels to imagine him becoming the great leader he is in the original films.  But real life doesn’t start with Episode 4.  It starts wherever you’re at.  You just have to trust God knows what he’s doing when he calls you.

And we’ve all been called.  Not just to be his followers.  We’ve been called to be disciples.  Disciples are followers who are learning to become a leader.  If you are a disciple you are a leader in the making.  You were called not only to follow, but to make a difference in the world.  Isn’t it about time you got to it?

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