I like to read bumper stickers… In fact, I’ve been known to creep up close to a vehicle at a stop light just to get a better look to read them.  One of my all time favorites reads, “Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too!”  As a child, I’m sure you remember playing a game called follow the leader.  Everyone wanted to be the leader, to have the others following their every move.  While in the Air Force, I remember a training exercise I participated in, during which, my squad was to navigate a route across unknown terrain.  Each point was identified with a marker to indicate the course color we were on, but we had no indication that it was a routine route with any semblance of a path being used before us.  As the point man, I had the compass, map and coordinates for the route and proceeded to lead our team through the course with all the thickets and underbrush impeding our progress.  With the proper tools, goals and information we successfully arrived at our destination.  That is what leadership is about.

It seems to me that there is hesitancy for many to accept the role of leadership today.  To set forth an example to others around them as to the proper direction their lives should be led.  Several years ago Charles Barkley declared to all the world of sports and those who follow sports, “I am not a role model”.  In doing this he made it clear that he wanted no responsibility for those who would look to his behavior as a lead to be followed.

Now let’s take it to the spiritual side of the house.  My experience (limited as it is) recently has been that the desire to provide leadership within the church has become nearly non-existent.  Are our potential leaders making the same declaration as Charles Barkley?  Perhaps, they feel that their actions do not mimic those of their Savior and as such not worthy of imitation?  I don’t know! Can you tell me?  Why don’t you want to lead?  Why don’t you want to set the example for others to follow?  Could it be where you are going, you don’t want others to go?  I’m at a loss to understand!  Jesus has told you to “Pick up your cross daily, and follow Him.”  Are you willing to do this?  Are you willing to show this to others so that they too, will “pick up their crosses and follow Jesus”?  If no one will do it, the future of the church is bleak indeed.  What do you say…? Are you ready to lead by example?  Jesus did just that and asks us to do the same!

Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter

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