Thursday, March 28, 2013

10 Barriers to Effective Followership

The Christian church is not in need of more leaders today. We are not having a crisis of leadership. We have a leader. He is flawless. He is marvelous. He is sufficient.

What we have today is a desperate need for more followers. We need people who will listen to our leader and put his words into practice.  Nothing else will rescue the Church from complete irrelevance.

Only this is required: Listen to Jesus. Do what He says.

Here are 10 Barriers to Effective Followership:

  1. Focusing too much on being the leader.
  2. Acting as if only trained professionals are capable of following Jesus.
  3. Believing that average people are not “good enough” to be like Jesus.
  4. Using the word “leader” too often.
  5. Forgetting to be a servant to everyone.
  6. Talking more than you listen.
  7. Thinking your ideas and wisdom mean more than everyone else’s.
  8. Reading books about “leadership” instead of remembering to serve in obscurity.
  9. Staying in our comfort zones instead of going out into the world to serve others.
  10. Accepting the lie that “good works” somehow nullify God’s Grace.
Please, let’s stop talking about leadership and focusing our attention on leaders. We have a leader. It’s Jesus. Let’s get on with the task of following Him today.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24)

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)

It’s not that I don’t believe in leadership. It’s that we already have a leader and his command to us was not to “Lord it over” one another but to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. He modeled one thing to us: Love. He washed our feet and then told us to do the same for one another.

To be clear: I’m not talking about doing good works to be saved. Those who are saved will do good works. Or, as I often say, “Swimming won’t make you a fish, but if you’re a fish you’ll swim.”

Or, as Paul says:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:8-10)

Our job is to follow our leader. He is the shepherd. We are the sheep.

“Follow me.” – Jesus






Matt McKirland said...

Hey Keith. Love the post! Christa and I were talking recently about the idea of "calling." This probably fits into points 2,3 and 7 that you listed above, but a major hurdle we are running into is this notion of being "called" into the ministry, or full-time Christian service, or to be a (senior) pastor.

Whatever truth there might be to being called to being a "pastor" or some "official" church leader (and I am not sure there is much, if any, validity to that language), it certainly obscures the call that God has placed on all of us to follow Him and to be minsters of reconciliation. I am with you about leadership, but it is far too often skill based, or conferred by another other than God, and NOT based on a gift of the Spirit and character.

The distinctions we make between "professional" Christians and the rest of us is evil, I believe. The people who make the distinctions aren't evil, but the results of stripping dignity from the saints and failing to equip the body are evil. What worse lie could our enemy convince us of than that the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is actually not in us, or at least not in us to the extent that it is in our leaders?

The way we define leadership and the qualification of only a select few being called to it too often result in an under-mobilized body on one end and spiritual elitism on the other.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I agree with you.

Unknown said...

I Love fellowshipping to all people because we are one.

Dona Leah said...

Just last night I said to myself that I wished somebody would talk about this. Seriously. Just. Last. Night.