October 27, 2017

Great Leaders Are Great Followers

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 27, 2017

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20   

Great leaders follow Jesus with a humble heart; they seek the advice of others who are wiser and smarter. And great leaders follow the authorities over them: a boss, a board, an accountability group or the law of the land. As a young leader, I was blessed to experience these traits in my mentor Howard Dayton. Howard was quick to ask for the Holy Spirit’s leading; he would seek counsel before he acted, he was vigilant to comply with government policy and he respectfully submitted to the board of directors. Howard helped me be a leader who wisely followed well.

Jesus knew he needed to recruit leaders of leaders to be the early church pioneers, so He enlisted business leaders who knew how to get things done, but whose zeal and ambition needed to be tempered by total trust and surrender to the Lord. The first disciples discovered the best way to follow Jesus was to walk with Jesus, emulate His obedient life and apply His wise teachings. These former fishermen did not start out as great leaders, but they grew into great leaders when they finally learned greatness was defined by their service. Great followers are great servants!

“The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest [and least privileged], and the [one who is the] leader, like the servant” (Luke 22:6, AMP).

Do you follow an unhealthy top-down approach that dictates to others or are you a leader who supports and leads the team through collaboration and conversations? Your litmus test for leadership should not be how loyal the team is to you, but how united they are around the vision, mission, and values of the organization. If you demand 100% agreement on all your decisions, with no room for pushback, all the best leaders will depart, leaving those unable to grow the enterprise to the next level. Great leaders listen to and follow through on other people’s ideas.

Most of all, learn to submit your leadership to the leadership of the Lord. Like the disciples, leave behind what prevents you from being a great leader. Leave behind selfish ambition and replace it with a godly heart to grow the business or ministry for God’s glory. Leave behind the insecure need for everyone to be like you, and look to people smarter than you to get the job done. Leave behind a distrusting attitude of having to be in control and trust the healthy processes and people to execute better than you. Follow Jesus by trusting Jesus to work in the hearts of all involved!

“Then Peter spoke up, ‘We have left everything to follow you!’” (Mark 10:28).



Heavenly Father, I submit to Your leadership, so I can humbly lead others, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


What do I need to let go of and trust the team to carry out in a better fashion?

Related Reading

Joshua 14:8; Lamentations 3:25; Mark 10:21; John 21:19

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