Alright, so I get it, we need leaders, but give me just a second here. There are a lot of conferences and books on leadership. You even see good Christian books on leadership that are modeled after Jesus. However, I think we might be missing it. What if we should be more focused on following rather than leading? Let me pose this question: What if God wants you to be a follower instead of a leader?

The Gospel of John

I ran across this idea when I spent a few months in the gospel of John. Jesus talks over and over about being sent of the Father and how he does nothing out of the Fathers will (John 5:19, 30, 36; 7:28-29 just to name a few). For example, listen to what he says in John 6:38

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Jesus said this as he was teaching a crowd. He wanted them to know that nothing he does is of his own. Simply put, Jesus followed the Father. In fact, he was the Master Follower. You might say “But Jesus was one of the best leaders of all time! and I would agree. But how did he become a great leader? How did he effectively turn 11 ordinary men into world changers? He was a great follower. He was absolutely submitted and obedient to the Fathers plan and purpose for his life and mission. Therefore, God the Father, fulfilled everything that needed to be fulfilled through Jesus (Phil 2:10-11).

So how do we respond?

I think the real question is not how can we be better leaders, but how can we be better followers? What is it the God has set you apart to accomplish? What is his call on your life? You may be a student, between jobs, a stay at home mom, or an owner of a company, but God has given you a purpose to fulfill. He has give you a mission. This looks different for every one of us. Maybe we live this out by serving our authorities and supervisors with humility, even if we don’t like their style of leadership. Or maybe you have a job or a ministry where you have positional authority–how can you submit your will and the direction of the organization to fit the direction God wants it to go? For the Christian, life isn’t about leading, it’s about following. As a leader, God is leading you as others follow you. Just to set the record straight, I do not want to follow! I hate following. I want to be a leader! However, when I look at the life of Jesus he simply does not allow me to do that. As a believer in Jesus Christ it is our duty to lay down our life, lose it, so that God can lead, guide, and direct our path (Luke 9:23; Pr. 3:5-6). Our assignment is to follow Him.

Remember this

When we are being led by God, we are influencing others for the sake of Christ. People get the opportunity to see the gospel displayed in its glory in our lives. If you think about it, it iss the ministry of John the Baptist. We are preparing the way of the Lord by influencing those around us. So, how are you doing? Do you find yourself often on your own agenda? Are you trying to buck the system or stick it to the man? It is never easy, but it is always worth it. Follow Him.

Grateful,

Mitch

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