Who Was The Leader

I’ve been thinking about leadership this morning because of a pretty interesting video.

Also, Arthur has a really good post relating to this at The Voice Of One Crying Out In Suburbia, asking What is good theology?

At lunch today, I experienced a great form of leadership. Leadership isn’t telling others what to do, but doing something, and showing others how to do it, among other things. Those two things are what I am thinking about today, so that is as deep as we’ll go for now.

To the story: My friends and I have been talking, and discussing a lot of things lately, but not really doing much. Well today I got an email; “I have an idea, want to come along?”

My friend and I left work, grabbed a quick lunch, and headed over to an older man’s home, who actually does stuff instead of just talking about it. We sat with him and asked how we can get involved, who does he know that needs help, and what he could teach us as a doer. We sat and listened for half an hour maybe, as this wise, loving man shared an idea, then he told us stories. Stories that, on the surface, didn’t seem to relate, but that’s a different story.

I may get into some of what he taught us later, but the point is, who was the leader there? Was it the guy who just went along, or the guy who decided to ask the question, or the guy who answered the questions?

My opinion, all of us were, to different degrees, leading each other in some way. Obvious the older man is leading both of us, the man you invited me was leading me, and (it maybe wishful thinking but) I was leading as the first follower to someone unseen by me.

All three, I know, edified each of the others in this hour of visiting. I can only speak for myself, but by being drug along, I was taught to go and do. And no one could deny the wisdom we listened to from this wise, loving, doer.

Who led the most? …Who cares! That is one of those trap questions that has cemented my feet to the floor and drained my energy so often recently. So who cares about defining words, and putting everything is nice little piles of understanding…well, me. Just (hopefully) not over the more important matters anymore. And right now I have too many weightier matters needing done to worry about that silly question.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. -Matthew 23:23 (NASB)

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5 Responses to Who Was The Leader

  1. Alan Knox says:


    Yes, you were all leading on some ways. But, the older man was certainly the “leader” in the scriptural sense, because he was serving and that service incited you and the other man to follow his example.


  2. Alan,

    Totally agree. He was the true leader.

    I was just doubly lead, because I was shown (lead) by my friend how to seek out the true leader. And, like I think you are saying, without his service, and us recognizing it, we would have had no example to follow.

    This older man has been sick lately, and has not been able to serve like he has his entire life. While he was in the hospital, we started seeing holes that he used to fill. People’s needs started popping up. It wasn’t that they didn’t exist before, it was that they were being met by this man in the past, and now they were visible because he was unable to meet them.

  3. We all too often mistake the word “leader” with the word “ruler”.

    From the Greek, the word leader may mean ruler, but just as often it can mean the first person to do something, ie. a forerunner. This is the true sense of its use in scripture. This can be seen if we check the Greek words in Hebrews13v7 and v17. Although most translations indicate it as a ruler it fails to match the previous chapters or the rest of ch13.

    He may be leader in a race, crossing the line first.
    He may be a leader in the development of new technology.
    He may be the leader at the head of the checkout line.
    He may be the lead singer of a band.
    He may be the paid mountain guide leading of a group of refugees escaping from tyranny.
    None of these depicts a ruler as such. Although in some areas, such as the guide, he may have a granted temporary authority, because of some particular skill.

    In your example, the man you sought was a leader in that he seems to have pioneered a walk which you were not familiar with. His leadership example was never about control. His leadership was far more expressive of your own voluntary humility to sit at his feet and listen.
    The church has got the whole leadership thing turned on its head. It sees “leader” in the unbiblical command perspective. From this position leaders demand submission to their exalted status.
    This is anathema to Jesus’s teaching of the disciples when they were debating such things.

    • Thanks Francis, well put.

      I was involved in a discussion about elders this morning, talking about what their role is. The difference between leader and ruler seem slim, but we have to abandon that view when we look at scripture. And then embrace the role God describes.

  4. Pingback: Following a guy who actually does stuff | The Assembling of the Church

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