Every leader needs to first of all be a good follower. In fact, your ability to lead well is directly influenced by your ability to follow well. The apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor.11:1). As church leaders, we too are to follow Christ by imitating him in character, who we are, and ministry, what we do (see Mk.4:19. Mt.16:24. Jn.10:27. Rom.15:5. 1 Pet.2:21. Rev.14:4). Shepherds are also sheep, disciplers are also disciples, and leaders are also followers.
Secondly, church leaders are to follow the overall direction of their senior leader and the church they belong to. Ultimately, there can only be one mission or vision in a local church. Division is simply “di-vision” or two competing ways of looking at things. A church should only have one vision and go in one direction (Phil.2:2. 1 Cor.1:10-13).
Our church has a Mission Statement that explains why we exist as a church, twelve Core Values that describe who we are and what’s important to us, and a DEVOTE 3 theme that defines what we are focusing on during this season in the life of our church. Something powerful begins to happen when each leader embraces the mission strongly, models the core values clearly and pursues the prophetic theme passionately. As each leader does this, together we will achieve great things for God through the power of unity (Ps.133).
Putting Legs on It:
* Be attentive to what God is saying to your church, respond to it and use your influence to reinforce the message in the hearts of those you lead. Micro-vision casting is very important.
* Make sure you “own” and live out the mission, core values and vision of your church. Make them part of who you are so that others catch the sense that you’re totally “on board”.
* Ensure that your personal and ministry goals contribute to the overall direction of the church.
* Be open to feedback and adjustment about the direction and progress of your ministry.
* Be aware of the various policies and procedures that have been established to help the church run smoothly and work within them.
Before becoming the Senior Minister of our church, I spent 5 years as a volunteer leader then another 10 years serving specific ministries of the church, while making other senior leaders successful. I learnt a great deal about leading well from learning to follow well, even when my thoughts differed at times from those who were leading me. Effective leaders are first good followers.