The idea of following can go either way these days. When I was a kid, we played the game Follow the Leader. The object of the game was; there is usually one person in the front of the line doing whatever they please while everyone else copies. Most of the time this works out to have everyone doing ridiculous things not to lose the game, and to win the position of “leader.” I’m pretty sure you get my drift. (I was not usually the leader.) As an adult, things look a little different when most people think of the phrase “follow me,” they think of the person speaking to have taken on a position of leadership and everyone is to do what they say. However, this can still work out quite similar.
Many leaders today lead with one thing in mind, control. Some intend to lead with control because of the reward it gives. Although the reward of control is temporary and leads down a dangerous path of complete and utter loss, some still take the risk because to them, a temporary feeling of power is better than none. Others control because it is the fruit of what has been done to them. They control others because they have never experienced being under true leadership. But what if leading didn’t have to be control. What if following didn’t lead to being controlled?
Jesus is the greatest example of leadership that we know. He expressed a leadership that led those who followed to drop everything and follow him. “So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:11). “After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he left all, rose up, and followed Him” (Luke 5:27-28). At his voice, they followed. He never begged them to follow. He never held his leadership over their heads with a promise to one day take his place. Instead they followed because of true leadership. Relationship. Trust. As we follow Christ, our lives should be a living testimony to that relationship. Others should be able to see our relationship with God manifested, so much that it draws them to follow us, as we follow Christ. We should be leading lives that represents leadership and relationship. We are not to separate ourselves and become untouchables. That is not at all how Jesus related to people. He was touchable, reachable, and relational. This is who we should be!
Are you leading the kind of life that draws others to Christ? Maybe you have forgotten how important your life journey is to someone watching. Everything we do and say should always lead to the world knowing that it is Christ who lives in our hearts. It is time for us all to follow Christ in truth. For the world around us to know by our deeds that we are children of God. That we are not looking to be “church goers” but rather “be the church.” It is time for our lives to be worth following.