What's Wrong With Follow-ship?

My in box is crammed with admonitions to attend this leadership conference, buy this leadership book, or be coached to become a more effective leader. I don't hear anyone talking about the importance of "follow-ship". That is anyone but Jesus. If I remember correctly, His command was "Follow Me." Paul picked up on that and encouraged those to whom he wrote to essentially "follow me as I follow Christ". I came across an interesting article in WordSearch;
The Discipline of Following
Thus leaders are also followers, followers of Christ, and willing to accept the leadership of others. This turns out to be the harder discipline. Almost all aspire to be leaders; few aspire to be followers. Following involves the recognition that we must operate not as a cluster of independent individuals but as the body of Christ. God has designed the body for interdependence, not codependence or independence. On a deeper level, following requires personal humility and the crucifixion of pride. Too rarely do leaders say, “I am laying all my professional skills, abilities, and economic resources at your disposal. Take them and use them as you see fit.” We are too proud to give our lives away to people who are not perfect.
Accepting the leadership ministry of others is also a call to faith. We must entrust both the leaders and the process to God’s sovereignty. Leaders will make mistakes. But God is more than able to make all things—even mistakes—work together for good (Romans 8:28). Following also requires discernment. As stated earlier, control and compliance are the structures of pseudoleadership and pseudofollowing. Discerning leaders call forth participation, discussion and even opposition; they are not satisfied with either control or compliance. Better yet is to cultivate decision-making processes that lead to true mutual submission. Discerning followers also can read their own compliant responses, or the controlling tendencies of leaders, name these unworthy strategies and insist on a process of mutual submission.
So there is something in the Bible better than a prescription for the ideal leadership structure in the local church. There is a theology and spirituality of leadership that makes the experience of giving and receiving leadership—something we all must do at some level—an incentive for spiritual growth. In the end, Jesus must have had this in mind when he forbade the disciples to seek leadership positions (Mark 10:35-45) and reminded them that he was their only leader. Only when leadership is for God and focused on helping everyone depend on God, rather than on the pastor or elder, is it safe and productive to be a leader, for then one’s identity is first of all to be a follower.
The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity: An A-To-Z Guide To Following Christ in Every Aspect of Life.
This says far better than I can something about the importance of following. The process of discipleship is learning to follow someone who is farther down the road to spiritual maturity than you are. Only then can you lead someone who is a bit behind you in the growth process. Our call is to follow Jesus. If I can't seem to see Jesus clearly, then I must focus on someone whom He puts into my life who is a bit ahead of me on the path and follow them.


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