“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3)
The leader’s instinct is in you whether you know it or not. If only for yourself and none other, you’ve got it. Lead yourself well and you’ll be able to do the same for others. I feel it though, I feel the risk, assuming you’ve been reading up till this point–and even as I write–that I will end in sounding just like everyone else out there who inspires others to become the best version of themselves. It sounds, when I read it (their’s), that “what worked for me will work for you”. And that’s simply not true. Notice what Peter says “not by constraint, but willingly…of a ready mind”. I like this. Because it seems to be happening naturally and organically as opposed to something done because we’re being chased into that corner. A bellwether is a ram that leads the flock. I’m reminded of Jesus as “the good Shepherd” (John 10:11). The word also refers to any forerunner of a trend. The Indicator, in other words.
“And the Lord said, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-33)
Transparent as a bell
At present and with reference to leadership, the thing I want most is focus. If I end in being an “ensample” as the King James words tupos (from the Greek implying everything from “scar” to “statue”), then that’s great. Sure, I’d love to have a wide influence and lead a group or what-have-you. It’s then that things get dicey, though. Alongside true leadership are the parallel temptations of manipulation and also a shallow voyeurism (only doing things to “be seen”). And I don’t want any of that. To me, true leadership comes from the heart of one who is submitted to the leadership of Christ. When Jesus says “follow me”, it means “follow Him”. It may sound like naught but allusion and metaphor, but try it on. Taking from Him as to what true servanthood looks like will in turn teach us how to be a servant to others. This is the essence of leadership.
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
One thing truly is needful. Be it your job or place or your family. Admittedly, Jesus isn’t referring to any of those things. In my opinion, it’s any and all of those things and others, done in a Christlike spirit and around which, all of life begins to rotate with the same impetus. As you live your life, head down, hopes high, you will be an inspiration to those looking. And trust me, more people are looking at you than you may well realize.
In closing, let me just say that I don’t really care. Growing up and out of my shallow (not in a bad sense) and naive view of how the world works, I look back and see the horizons of popularity and influence for what they were: mirages. It may be lonely at the top but here’s the thing. Firstly, not if you’re there with Jesus. Secondly, you’re nowhere as close to the top as you thought you were, trust me on this.
“Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:10-11)