Follow the Leader
There was a time when I jumped at the chance to lead a group of people into anything. A fight, a concert, a game, any restaurant and, definitely to go work out. The ability to lead rather than follow was always a thing I relished in.
No offense to those that may not come up with ideas,( truth be told, I don’t either) I am the person in every one’s group that decides, “Hey, that idea sounds good, and before anyone else takes the lead, let me!” I dislike following and more importantly I sometimes struggle with taking instruction. I considered myself to be a great leader. Someone that anyone can follow, a person that could be respected, a true soldier for the cause, reliable and dependable, and most of all, willing to be strong and brave. Being a leader to me was simple, I lead… people follow. What I didn’t realize was, at what expense was I leading and people following? Did I care or even think about those that I influenced and led? Most of all how did their outcome ever affect me?
Meditate on the Word
Some verses come to mind when I ponder about what type of leader, I should have been….
Philippians 2:3-Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves….
- I never considered anyone more important than myself, and I valued my goals above theirs.
Luke 6:31-Treat others the same way you want them to treat you….
- I only treated others a certain way to gain an advantage and to manipulate, and fortunately my leading came to an end.
Saved by Grace
However, once I was saved by Grace, all that changed. I realized God is the giver of all gifts and he gifted me to be a leader. I, in my desires and fears, manipulated my calling. I used and manipulated people, not cared for and protected them. I treated them without any regard and took advantage of them, not loved on them, and gave to them. When I should have been serving them through my leading, I was rather treating them less than servants. A good number of apologies were in order. What I learned was a leader’s role goes beyond people following and you leading, the individuals following trust that you will lead them into safety, they trust that you will guide them and protect them and put their interests first. They believe in your vision and your goals. Your role as a leader is to lead them as you follow Christ. He who is a good shepherd.
“1 Peter 5:2-4 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly, not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock,(here is where obedience is key and why we as leaders should be this way) and when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
The Moral of the Story
What I was missing was Jesus, the Chief Shepherd. Most of us are leading based on our own merit, which will never be good enough. I believe its safe to say a great leader can only be as good as the leader they follow and learned to lead from, Following the One True Leader. So, I say to you I know who I follow, do you?