Being a mom means I’m often one of the leaders in the household. It means I have many decisions to make each day, and many little crises to solve. For some people, I think that’s energizing. For me it’s exhausting. Sometimes I can’t even consider making another executive decision that day. I just want someone else to take over.
Everything in our society tells us to be a leader. Get trained to lead, not follow. Be the person who other people want to emulate. Be the one who is in charge. We’re constantly told “Be a leader, not a follower.”
Why? Why does our society tell us that?
God Created Each Of Us Differently
I mean seriously, there are some people who are more comfortable being a follower. Some of us are just not natural leaders. We prefer to be told what we need to do next.
I for one love being able to excel at a task that my leader has given me. I’m fine with being told that this task is mine, I’m in charge of it, and I need to do my best within those parameters. I don’t want to be the one in charge of the entire ministry though, because I’m not geared for that. It’s not my gift. I can take over temporarily if needed, I can form a short-term plan and implement it. But leading with vision and the ability to pass that vision to others, then organize it into coming about? Not really, no.
Now tell me, does that mean I’m not as accepted by God? Does it mean I’m not accomplishing all that God wants for me in this life? Does it mean I’m somehow not quite reaching my full potential as a Christian?
Why would it mean that?
We all have different gifts, and that’s okay. The people on stage could never be successful without the people in the seats, in the sound booths, and behind the scenes.
Leaders Need Followers
God tells us that He gifts us all differently. That some of us are the hands of the church, others the eye, others the head. We can’t all be the same member of the body of Christ. We can’t all be leaders – and we should not all try to be. Being a Godly follower is a noble goal in and of itself, if that’s what God wants of me.
Maybe some of this is where the jealousy comes from in church circles. The jockeying for one position in the church over another. The desire to be seen as a leader, not a follower. It’s perhaps the notion that we aren’t quite as good if we aren’t the leader. I know I’ve struggled with giving in to that mistaken belief.
Why can’t I just be grateful and happy for any role God gives me to play?
So I thought of a few things to help me remember the importance of the Godly follower. I figure that first knowing what defines a follower would help.
Being A Godly Follower
What it’s not:
- A Godly follower is not someone who never questions anything.
- A Godly follower is not mindless.
- A Godly follower is not a lesser calling.
What it is:
- A Godly follower keeps leadership on their toes. Because of the overarching principle of treating people with respect, we know God would expect a follower to be respectful, but you can question an order or ministry change in the correct way.
- A Godly follower uses their mind and their creativity to do the tasks they’ve been given to do. They know their own skills, and are willing to offer those skills in ways that God can use to further the gospel.
- A Godly follower holds a position of great value in the Kingdom of God. Followers are the brave soldiers in the spiritual fields of the world. We’re out there in the workforce, in the community, living the testimony of Christ in front of people in all walks of life.
When I look at these differences, I can see how God thinks of those of us in the rank and file. The ones who sit and listen to the preaching, volunteer when we’re asked or when we see a need, and then go out into the community to be the hands and feet of God’s gospel in the secular world.
And when I see how God considers following to be just as valuable, it helps me do better.
Are You A Leader or a Follower?
How have you found that being a follower has helped you be a better witness for God?
Or maybe you’re a leader. How has knowing what a good follower looks like helped you serve God more effectively?
If you liked this blog post, keep your eyes open for our upcoming book, Candid Conversations, where Heather Hart, the founder of Candidly Christian, has partnered with 25 other Christian women (including Sherry). While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Coming August 13th, 2018. Kindle edition now available for pre-order.