Great leader? Great follower

November 15, 2011

Our world’s population just hit 7 billion people about two weeks ago. That is a ridiculous amount of people. With 7 billion we can expect a lot of different likes and dislikes. There will be many people with interests quite different from your own.

Also with that many people comes the difficulty of being noticed. There are more people than ever trying to write books, be speakers, start businesses, and so much more. They all have things they feel other people should hear or buy; but what makes what they have better than any other? They are leaders, trying to lead people the best way they know how.

Our Bibles are full of great leaders. Moses led an entire nation out of slavery. He led those people for 40 years. David was King of Israel. He is considered a great man in Jewish history. The list can go on: Abraham, Peter, Solomon, etc.

As I was talking with my wife last night during our evening devotion, she pointed out something that I have not been able to stop thinking about. As great as these men were and as much as they were considered leaders, they did nothing on their own. During their greatest parts of leadership, they were actually following God.

Take Moses for example. While he led the Israelites in the desert they would often camp out somewhere. They would be wandering around and then find somewhere to camp, and after a certain period of time they would move on again. But it was not Moses’s decision to do that. They followed a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. God was leading them. Moses just made sure that the others were following what God was commanding.

Perhaps that is the first thing it takes to be a great leader. Maybe the first thing we should strive for is close communion with God so that we know where it is He is leading or what it is He wants us to be doing.

This translates over into all areas of our lives. I’m am not just writing this post for those who are big name leaders (not sure if they will ever read this!). If we are going to be great leaders in the Church, home, workplace, or school then we must first seek God.

Prayer. We can seek Him through prayer. It really is our connection with Him. Jesus thought it was important to pray. He did it throughout the gospels. If the Son of God considers the need to pray then I had better be hitting my knees a lot.

God’s Word. The Bible tells us of the nature of God. It lets us know how He works and what He desires from us. It paints beautiful pictures of God’s will and opens the door so that we can know who He is. It may not have exact answers for all of life’s questions (what toothpaste should I buy) but it definitely gives us an accurate picture of who God is and helps us to change our lives as we seek Him.

Discipleship. One of the best ways we can grow is to get connected with other Christians. We do this weekly as we meet with other Christians to celebrate what Jesus has done for us on Sunday mornings. A lot of growth can also happen when a group of about 3 people meet together to challenge each other and pray for each other. I read a lot about this in a book called Transforming Discipleship. Through these we can become better leaders in the areas God would have us lead.

Holy Spirit. To remove the guidance of the Holy Spirit from this list would be wrong. As Moses had a cloud and fire to follow, we have been given the Holy Spirit. It is not easy to describe how He leads but it is truly amazing. Sometimes our hearts ache for someone or we feel led to a place or to go over and talk with someone. I cannot help but say that is the Holy Spirit leading us to minister to others. He works through the reading and preaching of God’s word. He is active and is here to help us follow God.

Just about all of us will be leaders in one way or another. We may never be globally known for our great leadership styles, but we may be recognized by our local church, small business, or our children. As we try and lead them, let us not do it on our own. Follow God as He tries to lead you. Get connected as much as you can so that when He calls you hear and follow. What a wonderful experience it is to lead people closer to a God who loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die so that we can be forgiven.

What other ways can we draw closer to God and become better leaders?



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