I was watching some kids play the other day and was reminded of the games I used to play as a kid. I especially remember “Follow the Leader.” Everyone wanted to be the leader, and I don’t know about you, but I used to try to do things that the other kids couldn’t do. I would climb over things and under things and make all these weird sort of moves trying to show everyone how good I was. If someone couldn’t follow me, I thought it was ’cause I was such a good leader.
Well, things have changed over the years. I’m realizing that the best leaders are the ones who everyone can follow. It’s not the leaders job to make himself look good, but to move at a pace where everyone can keep up and everyone can play in the game.
I remember one time as a kid when I thought I’d be real smart and I led this group of kids around to the tail of the line so that I was following the last person in the line. All of a sudden there was no leader ’cause I was following the last person. It was just a big circle.
There’s something poetic about this idea as you think about the leader following his people – kind of a leader who serves sort of an idea. But the whole concept breaks down if you’re trying to go somewhere ’cause all you’ve got is a big circle.
This whole servant leader thing is tough ’cause the leader has to be out front taking the hits for everyone (like leading people down a trail where you’re the one who breaks all the spiders webs out front) but he also has to be serving the rest of the group by encouraging them and equipping them to follow. He is in the front and the back at the same time.
Jesus is the only one who ever did this very well. He served people and led them at the same time. I heard someone say that Dorthy on the Wizard of Oz did a pretty good job too. (Check this post) I wanna be good at it too. God help me ’cause it just seems too difficult sometimes.