Have you ever, all of a sudden, come to an awakening in your life? Well I have! It was the strangest thing. This awakening literally caused me to become overwhelmed.
It all started while on a motorcycle ride with my brother and a good friend of ours. About a month ago, we all met in the driveway of my home. My brother and I had already taken our motorcycles out of my garage and parked them in the driveway while we waited for our friend to arrive. Once our friend showed up, we were set to ride but none of us had decided on a route to take. Usually I am the one that takes the lead and picks the route. I decided this time it would be different, at least that’s what I thought. So I said, “I’ll follow you guys this time, lead the way.” “No! That’s alright,” they both said, “we’ll follow you, you lead the way.” I had no idea what route to take and I thought where could we ride that would be somewhat scenic, with some challenging winding roads and not a lot of traffic …
LEADERS NEED EFFECTIVE FOLLOWERS
Off we went with me taking the lead. I thought to myself, why do I always end up taking the lead. It would be nice if I was the one doing the following, not being responsible for others or having to decide which way to go. Don’t get me wrong, these men are fully capable of making decisions. In fact, I have counted on their wisdom many of times.
As we set out on the road, I began having a conversation in my head about leading and following. It was then that I realized that these men had chosen me to lead them, not because they were incapable, but out of respect, trust and love. You see I had taught both these men how to ride the motorcycles they were on.
I couldn’t believe that I was having this conversation going on inside my head as I am riding a motorcycle down route 31 towards Macedon. Time went by fast, before I realized it, it’s now pitch black, and we’re traveling on a road without any lighting. I could see both their motorcycles head lights in my rearview mirror. Then it dawn on me, I had missed my turn. I looked back and could still see my brother and friend’s headlights leaning and winding with each turn in the road. I’m lost I said to myself. “I should pull over,” a small still voice spoke. Then my PRIDE kicked into overdrive. What will they think of you if tell them that you are lost … some leader you are? Keep going until you see something familiar, spoke the voice of PRIDE, but the further I went the more lost I was.
THE PRESSURES OF LEADERSHIP
The role of a leader is one of great honor and I believe that all leaders know this. But a leader’s biggest enemy is his or her own PRIDE. Pride is usually a self inflicted wound that runs deep into the heart if not the very souls of its victims. It would be one thing if ones PRIDE only wounded the person with it, but instead PRIDE hurts everything in its path. Don’t confuse PRIDE with being PLEASED or FULFILLED with ones accomplishments. Just remember no one accomplishes anything without the help of others.
BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD
Finally, I shook loose of my PRIDE and pulled over. No sooner I pulled into a parking area, my friend and brother pull in after me. I pulled out my cell phone to check my GPS to find out where we were. My brother yelled jokingly, “Put away that phone! What, are you lost?” Yes! So, they suggested we just turn around and go back the way we came. Knowing what type of people that are following you is crucial to leading well. And knowing what stages that they are in, can greatly aid their progress as well as yours. Jesus Christ is the best example of how to lead others and strike a deadly blow upon the head of PRIDE. The Book of John captures Jesus preparing Peter for the awesome task of his leadership role.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him,“Follow me!”
Teachable moment are all around us. If we only took the time, as Jesus did in the above passage. Note how Jesus’s questions to Peter deals with Peter’s heart. Simon son of John do you love me more than theses? Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Simon son of John do you love me? And after each question Peter answered Yes! Jesus first reply is then feed my lambs. The meaning here is to lead them into pastures. This is a continual action of tending, feeding and caring for believers. Jesus illustration of His people as lambs describes the need for constant tending and care of immature and vulnerable members of God’s flock. The second times Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.” He is addressing in a supervisory capacity, not only feeding but, pastoral oversight. 1 Peter 5:2
Jesus is the true shepherd and leader. This is what He was teaching me on that motorcycle ride that evening. Although He has given me people that will follow me, I must remember not to lead them astray because of PRIDE and any other sin. I realized that those who are leaders have also been given effective followers. Not once did my brother or friend mock me or criticize me for getting lost. In fact when I admitted that I was lost they became instrumental in getting us back on course.
Will you, today, be willing to shed your foolish PRIDE … admit that you are a sinner in need of salvation … and allow Jesus to become instrumental in putting you on the right course? There is no other name in which mankind can be saved from sin but by the name of Jesus. Acts 4:12