“What is one thing you wish you knew before being in the ministry?” a young seminary student asked me. It is this, the two relationship 1. Leader 2. Follower. Charles Tidwell said it once, “Leaders Must Earn a Following It is true even of church leaders that their arrival at a position must be accompanied or followed soon by their earning a following. One might be in a leadership position in a church and not actually be a leader. A leader is one who has followers. There is no escaping that simple fact. No followers—no leader. And leadership is what one does to get followers. ” An old chinese proved once said this, “He who thinketh he leadeth and no one is following, is just talking a walk!” (Old Chinese Proverb). Webster dictionary defined leadership as the following, “Leaders are those who lead and followers are those who follow”. Even though it is a secular resource, I believe it is profound truth and biblical truth within this statement.
I believe leadership is one who mobilizes; one whose focus is influencing people; a person who is goal driven; someone who has an orientation in common with those who rely upon him for leadership; and someone who has people willing to follow him. “Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others. One man can lead others only to the extent that he can influence them to follow his lead.” (J. Oswald Sanders) Today, Christian bookstore or even secular bookstores we have easy access to “Leadership” materials and articles and find it very easily. However, we will never find books on “Followership”. There is an importance first of all to define “Leadership” although there is much the importance of identifying the word “Followership”. We have elevated leadership on a high pedestal and placed on the altar and created a false dichotomy on relationship “Leadership & Followership”. We have heavily emphasized on “Leadership” through seminars, conferences, and workshops. We have placed “Followership” underneath the carpet of worthlessness and degraded in negative nature of a lower state of rubbish. As followers of Christ, we all must come to the consensus as students of Word of God in pursuit of become more effective communicator of truth, in the body of believers we would only have very few that will lead and many to follow. As we interact with those many followers within the body of Christ with the understanding of diversity which can create a complex intercultural differences, this requires all ministers and leaders a crucial role for high level of interpersonal communication and leadership that Christ Jesus himself has displayed for mankind.