As I look at my own life and at others in my life who have been leaders for me, I wonder; I am a easy to FOLOW? This is a question we all need to ask.
Not just am I a great leader, but am I easy to follow. You can have great ideas, but be hard to follow. You can have great vision, but be hard to follow.
Even as a Christian, do you make it easy for others to follow you. Paul said in scripture, “follow me as I follow Christ.” He is not saying I do it perfect, he is just declaring that whatever I do, I do following Him. It’s an invitation to join him in the pursuit for Christ.
I remember as a kid playing the game “follow the leader”. This game was fun if you were following a fun leader. You would do the same actions, laugh, enjoy yourself but if you messed up, you were out. It sounds a lil ridiculous but it was fun with the right leader. The game was only fun if the person leading was easy to follow and they had fun with it.
We still play similar games. When you have a caravan of vehicles following the front vehicle this happens. The car in front knows the way so all the other cars follow the actions (speed, turns, stops) of the lead car. It’s hard to follow the front vehicle when they are not looking out for you.
When you are the lead car and there are cars following you (they don’t know where to go), here are a FEW TIPS to help you lead so people can follow.
HOW TO BE THE LEAD CAR! (Make it easy to follow)
TIP 1: Don’t SPEED! Slow down
It’s hard to go fast when you are pulled over by the police. It’s also hard to lead when the people that are following are being pulled over by the police. You as the lead set the pace. Just like car races have a PACE CAR, you set the pace for those behind you. So here is a thought; stop rushing! Just because you are going fast does not mean you are doing a good job. Plan, organize, evaluate, celebrate and enjoy the journey. When we are going fast we miss a lot of things along the way. I believe that some of the greatest things in lives are unplanned and are interruptions, but we ignore these things when we are going fast and are in a hurry.
Pray helps us to slow down. Stop doing everything fast. Allow God to interrupt you. Going fast may save you time but its not worth missing Gods blessing along the way. I am glad that Jesus did not rush people. He was with the people and he allowed time for interruptions. Take time today to stop! Spend time with HIM. You cant go very fast when you are empty. You need to pull over and fill up the tank. Fill up and pull over. There is a reason why they call them REST AREAS! Its okay to stop and slow down.
TIP 2: Pay ATTENTION to who is behind you
Get to know the people behind you. When you are the lead car, you need to be able to recognize the cars behind you. We need to pay attention to those who are following. We need to recognize them. Don’t forget about them. Without the people following you, you would not be leading anyone (hence…you would not be a leader). Get to know them, appreciate them, and know how they minister (drive). Be a leader that invests in other. We are in the people building business….not the ‘build me up’ business. Its about others. Invest in others. Pay attention to others. Give them time. Love, grow, and serve. People are the best investment. It’s not a church building business but a people building. You build the people and God will build the CHURCH.
Be aware and pay attention. Don’t be naïve to your surroundings. Don’t pass the blame and don’t ignore. Pray and build. The more you get to KNOW people, the more you are KNOWN.
If you are the lead car and you are impatient and rush through the yellow traffic light; you will be causing the people behind you to either wait or make a bad decisions. The fasted route is not always the best route.
TIP 3: Pull over if need; WAIT!
Sometimes you just need to pull over and wait. You might be ahead of everyone else but you can only go as fast as the slowest of you will loose people. Are they worth losing?
Sometimes, leaders can be great visionaries and they can be years ahead of everyone else. These leaders can see what it should like and what it needs to be like but here is the thing…that’s great for vision but a great LEADER will get you there. A Vision caster will paint you the picture but a leader will lead you there. Help the people get to what you see.
This is best illustrated with MOSES leading the Israelites. They had to pass through the Red Sea. Two big miracles happened here, the first is that the Sea parted, that was awesome. The second is that they all crossed. Every one of the Israelites made it though; even the slowest.
It’s easy to get the warriors, athletic, and others through. The strong ones got through the fastest, but it’s hard to get the young kids and older people through. It’s said that they all made. That means the first ones through had to wait for the last few to make it. You can only go as fast as the slowest people or you will lose them.
It’s hard to lead. It’s hard to decide whether you leave others behind and move forward or just wait for everyone to catch up. The hard reality is that Moses never made it to the Promise Land. He vision casted it, he dreamed about it and preached about it but he could not deliver them there. They were not ready.
That generation had to die off before Joshua could lead a new generation into the Promise Land.
Moses talked about the Promise Land but Joshua Lived in the Promise Land!
Sometimes you are Moses and you leading people who don’t want to ne led and sometimes you are Joshua who is leading people who are ready to be changed.
No matter who you are leading; you need to be ready to WAIT.
WAIT is a funny word.
One definition of ‘wait’ is to be patient and still. The other definition of ‘wait’ is like a Waiter/waitress; to wait on someone. To serve them!
We are called to be both with the Lord. We are called to be patient and to serve. We are WAITERS/WAITRESSES.
Those who wait on the LORD!
We feel at times that we are waiting on God but the truth is; he is waiting on us most of the time.
Wait ON THE LORD.
Jesus taught this by serving (waiting) on His disciples.
THE BEST LEADERS ARE ALSO THE BEST FOLLOWERS. You are a follower first. Just like PAUL; follow Christ. Follow well.
Like Paul said, “follow me as I FOLLOW HIM!” We was first a follower.