Are you a thought leader or a thought follower?
Deut 8:18 “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
All over Christian sermons, education, books, web sites, and the “campus” of church or Christian learning you constantly hear the words such as “leadership,” and “emerging leaders” and even “be a leader.”
I pondered this over time and part of pondering this issue is asking questions:
Reading the verse in Deut 8:18, God has given us the power to make wealth, He is the one that has given us this capability.
But where do you ever hear Jesus call us to be leaders? Can you find a reference? Yes, we are called, but not to be leaders.
Matt 23:10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.
The Bible never says we’re to be leaders, in fact the Bible says Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ, i.e. the Church.
Col 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
If Christ is our Savior, our Leader, that makes us followers of Him.
God gave us gifts when we became believers in Christ, so who are we to use them?
Rom 12:6-8 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
While Paul starts his list of gifts, he does indicate that any gift the Spirit gives is a one time act at the point of salvation that is never repeated again, i.e. we get the one gift and no more. Our charge then is to “exercise them accordingly” to the leadership of Jesus Christ. We’re to follow His lead, it’s less about our leadership, more about our lightship. Less about dictating and more about directing, to follow Him and His path for each of us and our nation.
We’re less about being Leaders in the Church, that’s Christ’s job, but more about being Lighters, a follower that reflects the light of Christ in a dark world. What does this look like?
- Leaders can focus more about themselves, Lighters focus on sharing the light of Christ
- Leaders spark interest in themselves, Lighters spark a non believers interest in Christ
- Leaders light things up for themselves, Lighters light up the darkness of the world through Christ.
- Leaders draw attention to themselves, Lighters extend the light of Christ to any and all that are drawn to the good that is in us toward and by Him.
- Leaders want to burn brighter for themselves, Lighters burn brighter when combined with other Christians that want to share the light of Christ, too, i.e. when two or three are gathered, He is in the midst.
- Leaders want to stand out among others, Lighters want to work together to burn brighter as and on a team for Christ.
- Leaders say, “Look at me!,” Lighters say, “Look at Him!’
So, don’t be a leader, be a follower, follow His lead and share and combine your light with others in this dark world. We are all one body in Christ, but many parts doing their specific assignments for Him.
Follower: Equal but different
Mat 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
While each of us has differing assignments via our talents, experiences, and skills and there is inequality between us, we’re to be equal when it comes to sharing His Light with others. Be the light, follow Christ’s lead and reflect His character to others so that they can see Him through you.
Want to know more? Read Billy Graham’s article How to Shine Your Light for Christ
I’m not a thought leader, I’m a thought follower. I follow Jesus and His thoughts, His leadership, not Man’s.