Follow the Leader

trailer-back.JPGA zippy trip to the electronics store brought unexpected lessons in leadership. After finishing my shopping, I turned out of the parking lot into the right turn lane. At least, I thought it was the turn lane. I stopped behind a truck that was pulling a utility trailer. I waited for the light to change.

It was a busy day. I was distracted by a number of things that raced through my mind. After a long moment, it occurred to me that the light was taking an awfully long time to change. Still, I waited. Presently, I noticed the vehicles beside me were moving, again.

“How long is this light?” I thought to myself.

At this very moment the “lights” started to come on in my head. Things became crystal clear, especially when I noticed the workers busily trimming grass nearby. The truck-trailer-rig in front of me was not waiting for the light to change. It belonged to these industrious lawn care specialists. It was parked. I was sitting behind a parked vehicle! GRRRR! After sheepishly making sure the coast was clear, while hoping that no one had noticed my folly, I made my escape from this embarrassing situation.

This happened a few years ago. Still, I think about it almost every time I travel the same route. The more I think about it, it seems to me that there are valuable lessons to be learned from this experience pertaining to leadership.

To be sure, everybody is leading somebody somewhere. Whether we realize it or not, this is true. People are lining up behind us. Since leaders are supposed to go ahead and show the way, those following us expect us to be going somewhere. God expects us to be going somewhere, too!

The Apostle Paul’s model of leadership captures the essence of what should take place. His leadership paradigm and leadership development strategy are summed up in succinct terms: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) This is precisely why he could instruct Timothy: “…the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2, ASV)

There are many lessons for followers, as well.

To begin with, we really should pay attention to what those we are following are doing. Before we fall in behind them we should know where they are going! Do some investigative work. Don’t just fall in line behind the person in front of you. Find out where the line is headed—whether or not it’s going God’s way.

Realize, also, that absentmindedness leads to emptiness! If you are behind someone who is going nowhere, guess where you’re going? Nowhere! Or worse, Jesus said if the blind follow the blind, they both fall into the pit. (Matthew 15:14)

The bottom line: Never follow anyone, unless you are positive she or he is following Christ! He is the leader we all are to follow!

© Bill Williams
October 30, 2005

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Discipleship Training, Following Jesus, Leadership, Life, Missional Church. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Follow the Leader

  1. donna says:

    This blessed me since this morning I posted on my blog and introduced you and a few others that have been uplifting and encouraging to me in my walk….bless you Bill….


  2. Greg England says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many church “leaders” with no one following them! And, I’ve been one of those church “leaders.”

  3. Maria says:


    In Jesus,
    Maria in the UK

  4. Steve says:

    I agree with you on this Bill as a church leader the hardest things I find is to know when to step back and let God go. Especially when you can see members who you know and love going the wrong way but you can’t just tell them because it would be over stepping the mark. I/We have to let them find their own Journey with our lord and King.

    I too also have to remember that I am not always right, even may I say right with God as well. Just because I have a leadership position don’t make me holy but the fact is that I should be always trying to find God’s direction from him and others.

    We are on a journey together.

    Thanks for the enraging word Bill.

    In his name.


  5. Thanks Bill!

    I, as a proud Daddy, realize the significance of my spiritual leadership in my own family and pray every day that I do not take it lightly!

    Jim Richardson

  6. Nan says:

    Thank you Bill. Again you hit the nail on the head. You make me think, and that is such an important thing for people to have in their lives. It is a constant spiritual education. Something most of us need.

  7. lem10 says:

    I have felt stuck in that line many times

  8. cwinwc says:

    One of the biggest needs in the church is for solid, Godly men and women to be role models. One of the biggest dangers in the church is blindly putting our faith in one of these solid, Godly men or women.

    To put it in the words of a brother when in a class setting, some of us confessed that we struggle at times with various sins – “It’s nice to know that you guys are stupid to.” Now, I don’t think we’re all “stupid” but all of us can fall short of living a Godly life. Our ultimate model needs to be Christ.

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