Great Leaders are Great Followers
Don’t be too shocked. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written on my blog.
I guess I needed a break, (or so I felt), from writing neat and grammar groomed articles. They are great and needed and loved every moment of getting to write monthly for Destiny in Bloom, a Woman’s online magazine for almost four years. Because of the way God has spoken to me this last year and taken me through physical journeys that mirrored what he was doing spiritually in my heart, the journey was all so raw and tested so many limitations I had placed on myself it felt intimidating to try to make that neat and tidy, so I didn’t. Ironically I need to get over that too. 😉
So I’ll write more on my blog. I’m not going to worry if you like it or not or if you tell me I’m a good writer or … not. Like one of my favorite quotes right now,
“I’d rather be honest … Then be impressive” …
So, here is to writing off the cuff.
Now to get to the title … let’s talk Leaders.
I’ve noticed, observed and literally walked with dear friends that have experienced this and that is …
Many leaders desire to be honest and vulnerable (many I know even work hard at it), while others struggle with it, not that there is not desire, but the ones that they lead see weakness as a lack of spirituality.
And my goodness it’s not like we haven’t been trained to think there is some special place to arrive, we’ve all wanted to get there at some point in our spiritual journey. You know that place where it gets easier … where you suddenly have learned enough, studied enough, know ‘Gaawwd’ (heavy southern accent implied) enough where faith becomes effortless and ahem our prayers are always answered quickly and on time. Except it seems to me, maybe we’ve been taught to arrive at a place as leaders or followers where we no longer NEED God.
How horrible to finally check off our spiritual to do lists and realize His presence is not there or the sense of His pleasure, the way favor feels like a hug or the way His love washing over all our inadequacies actually feels like strength.
I don’t think God is looking for spiritually “well-groomed”-“have-it-all-together”-“purrfect”-leaders … I’m pretty convinced He is looking for good listeners, people who let God lead them with His voice, obey His promptings which actually produces in a leader … a good follower.
A God follower.
I know I want to led by THAT kind of follower. Actually I have been. That kind of leadership that has acknowledge their need of God in their weakness, embraced honesty, led from the place where light wins and darkness losses, shame is defeated, vulnerability has happened … Oh the ways I’ve seen my God show off in these people’s lives. It’s not a one-time thing. It requires constant stewarding of a hearing ear and a seeing heart and a willingness to obey … to be lead … to follow.
Good leaders are good listeners and good followers.
I wish someone years ago would have taught me that your leaders are NOT just there to take care of you. Leaders need to be taken care of as well and not just by their leaders.
Let me just throw this at you … maybe it’s just as important to the development of the character in the one being led by a leader to care for it’s leader as it is the responsibility and integrity of the leader to lead.
One day the one being led will be the one leading especially if that leader has done a good job. It’s not guaranteed to you in return but paying forward the love and care you would one day want in return will always be an investment into the favor you walk in God with. God will always honor integrity. Favor and influence and weight to your words come from the hard times you wrestled and overcame … it will never be because someone put a stage under your feet.
Let God speak to your heart, dream with Him about what “being a leader looks like on you.” Don’t minimize for one second, we all lead. People are always watching … but they are looking for if there are things in your life that are worth modeling or pursuing. You decide that.
In the mean time think about the leaders God has put in your life. Have you held them to a standard that is not grace driven? Have you judged them? Have you released them to be honest in every pursuit and journey of change in their lives?
Because here is the deal it’s in the refining of the heart, the tension of growth and death (that doesn’t always look pretty), the stretching of ones faith, the facing of fears, the testing of loving people that don’t know how to love in return yet that produces the life giving flow in a leader that flows down fresh goodness on the ones they lead.
No struggle. No goodness. No growth. No change. No love. No compassion.
Simply wrapped up: Be good and gracious to your leaders. Love them, care for them, forgive them, restore them, encourage them … look for ways to bless them with no strings attached. Then be that leader to others.
Hmmm … I guess that all I wanted to say today. ~Ris