Are You a Follower or a Leader?
No one likes to think of themselves as followers--it implies weakness, small-mindedness, or a lack of self-confidence. Yet, if you consider yourself a Christian, you are indeed a follower: a follower of Christ. Does that change your perception? (John 8:32; 2 Corinthians 12:5-10)
But, what if I told you that being a Christ-follower automatically made you a leader? Jesus told His disciples, "Go and make disciples of all nations." Hmm...so that would make us both followers and leaders. What do we do with that?
Perhaps, then, we should evaluate how closely we're following Jesus--because often it's not what comes out of our lips that leads others to Him, but how we live, and act, and do life with people that makes them take notice and ask questions. In 2 Corinthians 6:3, Paul says, "We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited." (NIV)
I love how it continues in The Message: "... don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . .
in hard times, tough times, bad times;
when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed;
working hard, working late, working without eating;
with pure heart, clear head, steady hand;
in gentleness, holiness, and honest love;
when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power;
when we’re doing our best setting things right;
when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored;
true to our word, though distrusted;
ignored by the world, but recognized by God;
terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead;
beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die;
immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy;
living on handouts, yet enriching many;
having nothing, having it all. "
Being a Christian doesn't necessarily mean our lives will be easier, but it does mean that people will watch us as we go through these things--easy or hard as they may be--and our actions & reactions can make or break someone's decision to follow Christ. You may not see yourself as a leader, but you are called to lead others to Christ. So watch how you're following, and the leading will come naturally!