Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pass The Baton

Many times when we think of the word "leadership" we think of the qualities of a leader: innovation, integrity, persistence, the way they relate to people, having earned respect of others, things like that. But what good is a leader if he don't have followers? And more importantly, what does it say about his leadership if none of the followers do what he is leading them to do, without his being around to lead them?

While it is true that for a period of time a leader will need to provide training and mentoring for followers, there ought to come a day when the leader can leave for an extended period of time while "business as usual" not only continues, but flourishes in his absence. But he can't leave his life's passion in the hands of ordinary followers. This is because without a leader, ordinary followers don't have anyone to follow, or worse, will follow just about anyone.

So, what's a leader to do?

Chances are, if you are a leader you were once a follower who at some point "caught the dream" of your leader and adapted it to some degree as your own. You went out of your way to feed your hunger for knowledge about your newly inspired passion, wanting to know what your leader knows so you could do what he does. And at some point your leader identified you as a potential leader and took you under his wing, guiding you toward becoming all you can be.

The Bible has several examples of this kind of nurturing, this passing the baton from one leader to the next: from Moses to Joshua; from Elijah to Elisha; from Jesus to the twelve disciples. The fruitfulness of a leader is bringing forth new leaders.

God does not want his people to be lost, like sheep without a shepherd. If you have influence in the life of another person, you are a leader. What are you doing to to inspire leadership in the ones who are following you?

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