Saturday, August 25, 2018

Oh, But I’m Not a Leader

by Sylvia Gaston

I’ve heard those words quite a few times and every time I do, I wonder what it is about the word ‘leader’ that makes people intimidated. Do they feel unqualified? Is it too much responsibility to lead someone besides one’s self?

According to the dictionary, someone who follows is said to “act according to the lead or example of someone”. That’s not so intimidating.

Do you have a spouse, kids, a dog? Do you have friends? Co-workers? Then you are leading. Whenever those around follow your example, you are leading.

Now, how we lead is a completely different matter. We can lead well or we can lead badly. Either way, others are watching and will choose to follow us or not.

God has created each of us uniquely. He gave you particular talents, personality, character, and intellect. These vary greatly from person to person. Think about the specific things that make you….you. These are the things that you can share with the world - things that could make it a better place if you passed them on. These are the areas where you can, and should, lead.

Jesus ministered to, and led, many during His time here on earth. He saw the best in everyone, even if they weren’t at their best at the time. Although He didn’t come to be our leadership mentor (He came to sacrifice Himself for our sins), we can learn a lot about the way He led others. Here are just a few:

1.    Jesus led by serving others. He did nothing to gain personal attention or prestige. He took every opportunity to lead by example, serving the lowly in status, the outcast and the wretched.  As He did so, He taught His disciples, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:33-37)
2.    Jesus led with humility. He never threw his weight around nor demanded that others follow. As He taught, loved, and performed miracles, He gave all the glory to God. He said, If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me.”  (John 8:54)
3.    Jesus equipped and released others to lead. He invited 12 simple, uneducated men to accompany Him. They saw how He humbly served. They learned by watching His example. Then Jesus released them to heal and minister to others. He said to them, Give as freely as you have received.”  (Matthew 10:8). In other words, pass it on. Lead others in what you have learned.

We all leave some type of legacy behind. How wonderful to know that you had passed on to others some of the great things you were given by God Himself! How beneficial it would be to certain individuals, and even the world, if you left behind the best of yourself.

We are all leading. Accept it, be intentional about it, and follow Jesus’ example, and say, "Hmmm, I AM a leader." 

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