Upcoming FBC EventsWings for the Journey
Tuesday, Jun 18 at 7:00 pm
Church Council Meeting
Tuesday, Jun 18 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, Jun 20 at 2:00 pm
Thursday, Jun 20 at 5:30 pm
Sunday, Jun 23 at 8:00 am
5K Planning Team
Sunday, Jun 30 at 11:45 am
Young Adult Picnic
Sunday, Jun 30 at 6:00 pm
Four Seasons Mending
Wednesday, Jul 10 at 9:00 am
Quarterly Business Meeting
Wednesday, Jul 24 at 6:30 pm
SEEDS of Love 5K Walk/Run
Saturday, Sep 21 at 7:45 am
Do you know this word? “Followership” is not a common word in my experience.
We talk a lot about leadership. Many books have been written about leadership. I pursued my doctoral thesis on the topic of leadership. I teach an annual lay ministry course on leadership. It comes in many hues, tones, and styles. Leadership is a topic without end, but what about “followership”?
In a book titled I Am A Follower author Leonard Sweet suggests we may be in danger of getting it wrong when it comes to our walk with Jesus. Quoting Jesus’ invitation to his first disciples, Sweet reminds the reader that Jesus said, “follow me” not “come and be a leader”. Sweet contends that we would do better to become “first followers” of Jesus rather than “leaders”.
What’s the difference? A first follower is one who understands he or she is among other followers, and that we are all primarily followers when it comes to our Christian faith. This doesn’t absolve one of inviting others to know Christ whom we follow. It doesn’t keep one from organizing, planning, coordinating, guiding or any other traditional leadership task. It does refocus our role, however, in submission to Christ who alone is the leader.
This may be a mere use of semantics (follower vs. leader), or a ruse to sell another book (call me a skeptic). However Sweet’s ponderings have caused me to step back and consider anew the life of discipleship to which we are each called. When we examine Jesus’ life and teachings his emphasis is always on the other: serving others, loving others, teaching others, saving others. Jesus did not promote himself.
One of his best known rebukes of the Disciples came when they broke into an argument about which of them was the greatest. “Not so with you”, Jesus said. "You are to serve."
But isn’t leadership service? It can be, and therein may lay the problem. With leadership there are just too many variables, styles and non-Jesus like examples that we lift up and imitate. With followership there is a much simpler understanding at play. When you engage in followership – you follow. You follow Jesus. You do what he does. You listen to his words and message. You join him in serving others. You may direct, invite, encourage others into participating, but you are still primarily a follower.
Who are you following? Let’s follow Jesus together . . . . Pastor Dan