I was reading a blog recently and I came across a phrase that resonated deeply with me. The author writes, "One of the greatest lessons I learned in the mountains is, that if you want to lead, you must first learn how to follow." You don't have to be a climber or to have lead people in the mountains for this to resonate with you though. On some level, we all understand that we don't simply arrive in this world with the knowledge and aptitude for leading others. We learn to become a leader by observing others lead... and in what way can we draw closer to and learn from a leader than to place ourselves directly under their leadership?
I can remember when I first began climbing. The systems were intimidating and the margin for error seemed terrifyingly slim. But I began to watch other more experienced climbers. I followed them, observed their practices, and opened myself to be taught by them. With time and practice came proficiency until one day I was teaching and leading others.
What is a realm in your life where you entered in as a follower, but now have the opportunity to lead and influence others? When have you, recently, volunteered yourself as a follower of someone wiser and more experienced in order to become a more effective leader?
Our experiences aren't the only things that teach us that we must first follow in order to learn to lead. Scripture teaches this model also. In his earthly ministry, Jesus directly asked his disciples to follow him. They followed him with their bodies and with their hearts. Through their following, Jesus was able to equip that first generation of missionaries to lead His church and influence the entire world. And the amazing thing is that Jesus asks the same of those who would serve Him today.
So let's ever more fully position ourselves as followers of Jesus, that we may be part of the transformational influence He is having on the individuals and people groups of the world today.
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