Tag Archives: follow me as I follow Christ

Follow The Leader

Leadership is as important in the Church as it is in business. We need leaders and we need followers. All throughout my life, I have been blessed with great leaders in church. From my early childhood children’s pastors who taught me the foundations of faith, to my junior high teachers who helped me understand the doctrines of the church, to my high school teachers who helped me learn to pray and to memorize Scripture, to my pastors that have kept me grounded in God’s Word. I learned these things from them, but I also watched their lives. They were consistent in living what they professed. That’s what leadership is truly about.

In almost all of those leaders, I remember hearing them repeat 1 Corinthians 11:1 to me and to others. It says, “I want you to pattern your lives after me, just as I pattern mine after Christ” (TPT). The King James I grew up on said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” As a kid, I remember hearing that as an instruction to look at their lives as a pattern for mine as long as they were living for Christ. It was the openness and honesty that is required of leadership. If they’re not following Christ, it was time to learn from their mistakes and to quit patterning my life after them. It’s always important to remember that church leaders are human just like ourselves. They have the same propensities to sin, and do sin. Leadership isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real and open. What do they do when they sin? How do they respond to defeat? How do they deal with things when they’re under life’s pressures?

As you go through similar things in your life, look to the lives of the leaders God has placed around you. Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith” (NLT). God has given the Church leaders so we can follow their examples. We are also called to be leaders ourselves. People are watching your life to see your example of faith just as you watch the lives of others. They may never tell you, but they are. It’s important that we keep our eyes on Jesus and not on a person only. He is our ultimate leader that should guide and direct how we live. I’d like to change a famous quote just a little: Lead (preach) at all times. Use words when necessary. Your actions will speak louder than your words ever will. Follow someone whose life lives what they preach, and be a person who does the same.

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

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Being Shepherd Led

One of the things in the Bible that has lost context over the years are the constant metaphors to sheep and shepherds. The Old and New Testament talk about sheep a lot. We know Psalm 23 starts out that the Lord is our shepherd. In Mark 6:34, Jesus had compassion on the crowd because they were sheep without a shepherd. Ezekiel 34:31 says that we are the sheep of God’s pasture. Isaiah 53 says that we are like sheep who have gone astray. Over and over there’s this comparison to sheep, but shepherding sheep isn’t as common as it used to be. I don’t know a lot about them, but I do know that they are defenseless, like to flock together and prefer to be led from the front rather than pushed from behind.

As a person who teaches leadership, I can tell you that people need a want a leader worth following. As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.” By that definition, we all have leaders in our life who influence or lead our decisions. 2 Peter 3:17 warns us about who we allow to lead or influence us. It says, “As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth” (TPT). We must be careful in who we allow to lead us because there are those who would lead us astray. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to only follow Him as he followed Christ. It’s important to know who’s leading the people that are leading us.

Leaders and pastors will be held to a higher standard on judgement day (James3:1), but you will still be held liable for your actions. That’s why it’s important for each of us to not just follow a person. We must also be led by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (NLT). We must know our shepherd’s voice for ourselves without relying on another leader to hear it for us. If we don’t learn to hear it ourselves, we can easily be led astray. Each of us must take time to listen to what God says through His Word and to our hearts. Anyone who gives contradictory advice to what God says will lead you astray. We are to be Spirit led more than people led, but our sheepish nature simply wants to follow the sheep right in front of us. We must fight against that and listen to the Shepherd ourselves.

Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash

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