CHARISMA: Peter Was a Magnet

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Acts:  (2:1–41)

ACTS 2 marks a pivotal point in the New Testament. One hundred and twenty men and women become charter members of the church when it is born in an upper room somewhere in Jerusalem. Yet by end of the chapter, it explodes into a body of more than three thousand members.

After the Holy Spirit falls on the believers (Acts 2:1–4), those visiting Jerusalem begin to wonder how these disciples of Jesus could speak so many languages (2:5–13). While some think the disciples are drunk, most just feel confused. Chaos seems to rule.

That’s when Peter stands up and begins to speak. This same Peter, who ran in fear on the night of Jesus’ trial, now speaks boldly. Within minutes, he has captivated everyone with his compelling words. The crowd gladly accepts his message. Why? He has charisma. Through a combination of God-given wiring and the gift of the Holy Spirit, this leader captures and motivates three thousand people to follow Christ.

What Are the Traits of a Charismatic Leader?

Most people think of charisma as something mystical, almost indefinable. They think it comes at birth or not at all. But that’s not true. Charisma is the ability to draw people to you or your cause. Some people possess more of it naturally. Like other character traits, however, it can be learned. Notice what made Peter so charismatic (2:14–40):

1. Confidence
Peter displayed poise and optimism as a buoyant communicator.

2. Conviction
He knew where he was going and what he had to say. He spoke straight from his heart.

3. Connection
He focused not on himself, but on others. He magnetically connected with his audience.

4. Compassion
He exuded warmth and love. He gave the people practical answers to their needs.

By the end of his message, everyone asked, “What shall we do?” (2:37). They felt motivated and ready to act. God used Peter’s charisma like a magnet.

How Can We Build Charisma?

How about you? Do you demonstrate charisma? To make yourself the kind of person who attracts others, build the following into your life:

1. Love life. Celebrate; don’t complain. Enjoy the journey.

2. Put a “10” on everyone’s forehead. Expect the best of people and treat them well.

3. Give people hope. Everyone looks for hope; leaders deal it out.

4. Share yourself. Be vulnerable and real. Share your heart, wisdom, and resources.

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