In the last post, I dealt with leading the church in difficult times. Boldly leading the church when the culture attacks from all sides will be difficult and require a special leader. How do we find, train, and turn these strong leaders loose?  Stay tuned.

When Christ began calling his disciples, He bade them to “follow” Him. The concept of followership in leadership theory has only recently caught up to what Christ knew all along. To be a good leader, you have to be a great follower.

The words used by Christ in Matthew 4:19 are generally translated as “Follow me.” The original Greek is the word “come” which is deute. This means come hitherto or come to me. The word translated as “follow” is opiso, meaning to fall in behind. Christ was asking His followers to come and fall in behind Him. Christ was not utilizing this as a positional statement in an offensive, subservient way. He was telling them that He chose them for their position. He had much to teach them, and He wanted their attention.

What is the role of a follower? First, humble yourself and be willing to learn. To be humble does not mean that you take abuse or fawn over your mentor/leader or do not challenge and question. It means that you are willing to remove your ego from the learning equation, listen, and apply what you are taught. We know that God hates pride, Proverbs 6:17, 8:13, 11:2, and James 4:6—to name a few examples. Second, the follower must be willing to accept correction and the occasional rebuke—Proverbs 29:1, Hebrews 12:6, Job 5:17, 2 Timothy 4:2. Thirdly, be an imitator, especially of Godly mentors/leaders. The word in Greek used for a follower is memetes. This comes from the root, which means an “imitator.” A follower is an imitator of their leader’s good and Godly things (John 14:12).

It is important to emphasize that the follower should be fully engaged in the learning process and comfortable with respectfully challenging and asking questions. The disciples of Christ often asked questions, told Christ they did not understand a parable or teaching, and even tried to rebuke Him. That did not work out so well, so cautiously apply that tactic. But if you are convinced you are correct and the mentor/leader is heading in the wrong direction, then make the challenge. A good leader is also humble and should be willing to admit fault and take corrections. If not, get yourself another mentor to follow.

Recognize also that developing good leaders is a process. Be willing to invest the time. He who began good work in you is faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). The mentor has to start by identifying a follower’s potential. In 2 Samuel 23:3 & 4, David focuses on the requirements of a leader as expressed by God. The leader is to be just—applying God’s equal justice and righteousness—in every situation. The leader is also to be God-fearing. These leaders hold a reverential awe appropriate for the creator of the universe. This fear focuses the leader on God first—”seek ye first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). Do you meet these requisite requirements? Then, you may be a follower and ready to begin your leadership development process.

Kevin Uncategorized

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