As kids, we played a game called Follow The Leader. We tried to do whatever the leader did. Sometimes it was easy, like hopping backwards on one foot. Sometimes it was scary, like jumping off a high wall. The winner outdid the leader. The rest of us were losers. Sometimes the leader would start off doing something really hard, and then laugh at those who were afraid to follow. We called these leaders “bad.” As I look back, I realize that we were all bad leaders, because our goal was the same - to get as many kids to fail as quickly as possible.
But one day, a new boy in the neighborhood asked if he could play. When he became the leader, instead of doing things to defeat us, he increased the difficulty level so gradually that before we knew it all of us were doing hard things and exclaiming, “I never thought I could do that!”
He thought it was more fun to make us winners than losers. Years later, he became the head of a famous leadership program. When we talked about his work, he said that “we train leaders to lead, and to prepare others to lead. If an organization isn’t training leaders, it’s headed for trouble.”
As we talked, I thought about great leaders in the Bible and what the Bible says about them, their qualifications and their training. And I also thought about the many local churches with leadership problems. Then I remembered our childhood game, and how we bad leaders discouraged one another, while this good leader encouraged us to accept new challenges.
That led me to consider the greatest leader of all, the Lord. Among other things, He took a rag-tag bunch of disciples and for three years taught them to become leaders of the greatest “organization” ever, the Church. How’d He do it? His “follow Me” is recorded 18 times in the Gospels. He did it by teaching them to follow the Leader! Paul did too, when he said, “Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” And so should we.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org