As pastors & leaders we often wonder what separates the average guy from the guy impacting thousands, even millions. Plenty of times I have wondered what set guys like DL Moody, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Charles Stanley, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick and other leaders apart for such great influence. I even ask the question, what do they have that I don't? Not sure if you've ever asked those questions, but they often reoccur in my life.
The answer really is quite simple....But to get there I want to point out one person in scripture...Peter. Peter was a guy who consistently got things wrong. He did things like cut off ears, curse and deny Jesus! Pretty screwy dude. Yes, He walked on water, for a few seconds and Jesus loved him. But, overall, he was better at causing issues.
Then all of the sudden in Acts 2 Peter stands up, shares the Gospel and thousands of people's lives are forever changed. Peter built the first mega church in 1 sermon! How does that happen? How does someone like that all of the sudden begin to impact thousands and change the world????
Simple...God showed up. In the beginning of Acts 2 we see Peter, along with the other followers, in the upper room. They were praying and waiting for God's Spirit to show up. They created space and time in their lives for God to show up. And, He did. The Holy Spirit showed up as wind and fire...something you cannot contain in that combination! As a result...HUGE things happened.
What set Peter apart was the presence of God! What changed lives and impacted thousands???? The Spirit of God!
What sets the men I mentioned before apart as great leaders....The Spirit of God! I'm certainly not implying you or I do not have the Spirit of God present in our lives and ministries. There were quite a few people in the upper room with Peter who also received God's Holy Spirit. But, it was the Spirit that chose how, when and where He would use those people. Some were used in more obvious and greater ways than others.
Yes, God has used guys like Billy Graham in greater venues and crowds than you and I. But, that doesn't make them greater than you and I. We all have God's Spirit at work in us. Let's recognize how, when and where God is using us. Let's celebrate that with gratitude and do the best we can with all that God has given to us!