Follow to lead. Don't lead followers. Become a follower in order to lead. Sit on this idea with me for a moment…
Henri Nouwen once wrote: “One of the greatest ironies of the history of Christianity is that its leaders constantly gave in to the temptation of power – political power, military power, economic power, or moral and spiritual power – even though they continued to speak the name of Jesus, who did not cling to his divine power but emptied himself and became as we are.” – Nouwen, Henri. In the Name of Jesus (Crossroad, 1989), 76.
He suggested that instead of focusing on the power of leadership, followers of Jesus should focus on being led. (In comes the story of Peter in John 21: “You will be led where you don’t want to go.”) A Christian is supposed to lead others to Christ, lead in the way of love, lead by example, lead their children, lead the world to peace, lead the world in justice, lead… But any Christian leadership, at its very core and in its very practice, must be in submission to Jesus.
So, I’m hoping you’ll help me compile a short list of what it might mean to “lead by being led”. Here’s a start… Thank you for interacting with me on this by adding other key points or key scriptures:
~SHORT LIST: LEADING BY BEING LED~
1. FOLLOW JESUS (Matt 4:19-20; 8:22; 9:9; Luke 12:26; Heb 12:2)
2. BE WILLING TO GO WHERE YOU DON’T WANT TO GO (Matt 8:19-20; John 21:18)
3. DO WHAT JESUS DOES (John 13:14; Phil 2:5; Col 3:12-13)
4. BECOME A NEIGHBOR IN ORDER TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR (Matt 9:10; Luke 10:25-37; John 1:14; 3:16; 13:4-8)
5. CAST OFF EVERYTHING THAT HINDERS YOU (Luke 9:23; Heb 12:1)