I suspect that the vast majority of us would raise our hands with the wanna-be-leaders. Leadership is THE focus of corporations, denominations, non-profits and classrooms. Everyone wants to be a leader.
Those entering college or graduate school have in their admission applications dutifully written countless stories regarding the “leadership” opportunities they have embraced because, well, every academic institution is interested in producing leaders.
I suspect leadership is especially attractive because this is usually where the power and status and influence and dollars reside. Even if we have not quite measured up to the 25 habits of highly effective leaders, we still want to be one.
Conversely, Jesus spoke mostly about following.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He made it very clear he was not so much interested in leadership as he was in “follow-ship.” When two of his own got into an argument about leadership, he made it clear that as far as he was concerned being a servant was the higher calling. He asked those drawn to the reign of God embodied in his life and ministry to “follow me.”
A few years ago, some (mostly leaders) were enthralled with a new book entitled Jesus CEO. It focused on self-mastery and relationships. I don’t know all that it said about leadership. Except, it was not entitled Jesus: Custodian or Jesus: Grocery Bagger.
Following Jesus is not easy. We know we are close on its heels when we see the evidence of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We know following Jesus will eventually bring us to some kind of a cross. Not a key to the executive bathroom.
Yet, I believe following Jesus is the most exciting journey imaginable. Some of you who have been at it awhile would say the same. And some of you just happen to be great leaders, as well.
I guess when it comes to Jesus, my hand most go up with all those who would like to be a “follower.”