To be a good leader, we must be good followers.
Ministry and marketplace leaders have several important things in common. As leaders, we have followers, and equally, we follow other leaders. As Christ-followers, we follow Christ first, and then those who are placed in authority over us.
Today’s scripture informs us, Christ-following leaders, of something very important: the responsibility God has placed on our shoulders. Consider: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” (Hebrews 13:17 NIV) The image that comes to mind is a shepherd keeping watch over their sheep.
We must give an account of our leadership. We will surely also give an account of our follower-ship. How well did we follow Christ? How well did we follow those placed in authority over us? Several scriptures come to mind, warning those of us in leadership roles. Consider: "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." (James 3:1 NIV) Also, see Luke 12:48, 1 Peter 5:2-4, and Matthew 20:25-28. I believe this applies to anyone in a vocational ministry or marketplace leadership role.
As leaders, these scriptures remind us that our positions are not just of influence but also of profound responsibility and accountability before God. We are called to lead with integrity, humility, and a servant's heart, always mindful of the divine scrutiny we are under and the example we set for others to follow.
Those under our leadership, be they few or many, must have confidence in us. For others’ confidence to be well-placed, we must be good followers. As leaders, may we learn the art and science of follower-ship and follow well.
In closing, here is a scripture that informs us on how to lead and how to follow: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your interests but each of you to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV) As Matthew 20:25-28 and Mark 10:45 teach us, as leaders, our primary responsibility is to serve those God has given us to lead.
May we lead well, in both vocational ministry and the marketplace. Wherever we are placed, whatever we do, may Christ-followers in positions of leadership excel at both leading and following. And may we all closely follow Christ Jesus our Lord.
Your aspiring servant,
Daniel M. December 29, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your intimate, daily conversations with Christ.