Who Are You Leading?
Make no mistake, every Christian is called to be a leader. We all lead someone. So the question is, who are you leading and where are you leading? The bottom line however, is not who you are leading, but who are you following? We can only lead someone where we have first been. So the important question any leader (and we are all leaders) must answer is, who have I been following?
The One we are to follow is Jesus Christ. This leads to another problem. Christ has entrusted imperfect, sinful humans with the ministry of reconciliation. We who lead, lead imperfectly. God gave us His Holy Word. All the direction we need and seek must come from this Book. But again, who are you following?
God has placed leaders in His church to help guide others to Himself and build them. The work of the ministry is largely one of edification. Ephesians 4:11, 12 says “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
There is a prerequisite to leading others to follow Christ. That is, that you have followed and are following the Truth of the Word of God. God’s messenger may be faulty, but His message is not. Do not follow the messenger, follow the message.
Follow these steps: 1. Follow one that is following Christ; 2. Continue to follow even as you lead; 3. Remember you can only lead successfully where you have been. You cannot pull someone out of a pit if you are standing in the pit with them;
It is not necessary to experience sin to lead someone out of sin. In other words, you do not have to be rescued from drug addiction to lead a drug addict to freedom. The Truth is what makes free, not the experience of sin. John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”You do not have to experience the casinos to help someone gain freedom from a gambling problem.
You must however, be doing right to lead someone else into rightness. That means that you must follow someone that is doing right, someone that is following Christ. So again, who are you following? ? How are you leading? Where are you leading? The eternal destiny of your followers depend on how you answer these questions.
To lead properly you must settle the issue of authority. As a good leader, Christ has given you authority over others. You are not the authority, but you have been given Christ’s authority. Another way of saying the same thing is you are not the authority—Christ is, and only Christ. It is a privilege to serve Christ in any capacity, but you must have a solid foundation to follow. Remember, good leaders are still following someone. That person better be Christ which you learn about through the Scriptures.
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. You do not need to apologize for yourself or your position. If the Bible says it, that settles it! Strong leaders will not be moved. People will follow real conviction based on fact.
Watch your attitude. Attitude is our inward feelings expressed in our behavior. They can be either good or bad. It is the thing that draws people to us or repels them. It is the outward fruit of the inward root. Consider John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” It is not so much positive thinking as positive attitude. Keep these thoughts in mind in leadership—1. The right spirit is based on the right perspective (How we see the things around us); 2. The right spirit is based on the right principles--#1 God is in charge, #2. God’s will is most important, #3. God never changes; #4. God will make a way out of no way.
Scripture is filled with paradox. Webster’s 1828 dictionary says of paradox, “A tenet or proposition contrary to received opinion, or seemingly absurd, yet true in fact.” As absurd as it may seem we are exalted by humbling ourselves (James 4:10). The last shall be first (Matthew 19:30), and the way to successfully lead is to serve. Make yourself a servant of and to men. In doing so, you are following Christ’s example and will lead others to do the same.