May 16, 2022
Leadership or Followship?
a vast difference between leadership and
"followship." Let's examine it.
have a vision of where their people need
to go and a plan for getting them there.
So, they cast the vision and set a
course to actualize it, whether that
path is popular and smooth or unpopular
and fraught with challenges. Inwardly
sure and therefore determined, they
steadily stay the course, and when their
people get distracted by allurements,
intimidated by opposition, or
discouraged by delays, they call them
back to the vision and press on. And
they keep doing this, however long it
takes to actualize their vision.
"Followship," however, is the opposite.
The leaders follow and the followers
lead. Here's how it develops. The
leaders observe what the people want or
demand and, afterwards boldly declare
their intention to "lead" them to it -
not because it's best for them but
because it's what they want. It's all a
charade, because the leaders are merely
following the desires of the people they
are supposed to be leading rather than
guiding them to what is ultimately best
for them. They flatter themselves as
being bold leaders and visionaries -
Churchills, FDRs, Lincolns - but are
nothing of the kind. Instead of being
foreseeing, sharp, bold, and competent,
they are blind, confused, timid, and
tragically incompetent. They can't cast
a vision because they don't have one.
They don't know where the people should
be going and, if they did, would not
know how to get them there. So, since
they cannot lead, they follow the people
they are supposed to be leading. What
they offer, then, is not leadership, but
current president is a case in point. He
is being coerced by the radical left,
pulled back and forth by Putin's whims
and threats, and pushed along by
whatever is politically expedient. And
whenever he says something glaringly
inane or dangerously provocative, he is
embarrassingly corrected by anonymous,
behind-the-scenes advisors who are
continuously checking the pulse of the
polls. So, since they, and not he,
determine what he says and thus how he
"leads," it is they, and not he, who are
the true, de facto leaders. He's just
following them and whatever agenda the
people seem to demand at the moment. So,
he's not a leader, but a puppet. Various
entities pull his rhetorical strings and
he awkwardly jumps and does whatever
they wish. And this always occurs
after they direct or correct him.
Far from leadership, this is followship
in its purest - or most polluted - form.
And why is
he given to followship? He has no vision
for his people. And if he did, he has no
viable plan to actualize it. He's lost
his way, so he cannot help this nation
find its way. So, this nation stumbles
on into record inflation, bitter social
division, unprecedented political
dysfunction, dangerous military decline,
and growing international peril. This is
what happens when leadership is
Now, my fellow ministers and elders,
let's apply this to ourselves. Are we
offering our flocks truly biblical,
godly, bold leadership or the pitifully
lame, aforementioned alternative? Pause,
and think before you answer. And
consider these vital components of true
Do you know what God wants from your
people? Do you know where He wants you
to lead them? In their devotional life?
In their handling of personal trials of
faith? In their growth in the knowledge
of God and His ways? In their grasp of
the Bible? In their discernment of God's
hand and ways and work in their life?
Do you know
Christ's ultimate goal in saving people?
The Holy Spirit's objectives in filling
and guiding them? Do you know how God
forms Christlike character in their
lives? Can you lead them into a very
close walk with Christ? Can you counsel
and walk them through dark valleys,
raging floods, and white-hot fiery
trials? If none of these things are real
in you, you cannot lead others into
them. You can only follow along as the
demonic pressures of life blow them
first one way and then another. Thus,
your leadership is in fact followship.
more crucially, do you know the times
and what God's people ought to be doing?
Have you studied the Signs of the Times?
Do you know Jesus is coming soon -
really coming soon? Do you know
your people must get ready for His
appearing - the great rapture of the
church - if they hope to participate in
you know, are you pursuing, and are you
teaching the key spiritual readiness
requirements Jesus personally set forth
in His Olivet Discourse that give us
rapture assurance: be "ready," be
"watching," be "wise," live "worthily,"
live "faithfully," and "know" Christ
intimately? If not, you cannot lead your
sheep into spiritual preparedness
because you don't have a vision of it
and are not pursuing it yourself. And if
you can't lead, you must follow. Instead
of going before your sheep as the Great
Shepherd does, you must follow along
behind them as they bumble and stumble
their way into these perilous End Times,
unprepared, uninformed, and unled.
Christian leader, I say this in love,
not indifference, and acutely aware of
my own need of becoming a better leader.
But say it I must. Because it is urgent!
Because the hour is so late and this
church age so close to its end! The next
time you hear a Joe Biden press
conference and gawk at his gaffes, take
a long, slow, thoughtful look at what
you're seeing and hearing. It's
followship at its best - or worst! But
don't stop there.
Go on to the next logical step. Do what
you would rather not do. Look in the
ministerial mirror. The real one that
prompts self-examination, not the one
that makes you look taller, more
spiritual, more wise, or more courageous
than you are. Ask yourself if you know
what's coming? And if you're ready for
it yourself? If you find you are not
prepared to lead the needy, bleating
sheep of Jesus into these increasingly
confusing, dark, and trying End Times,
do the right thing.
Start leading! How? By leading
yourself to whoever and whatever
will prepare you. Seek those leaders who
know where God wants to lead His people
in this hour and start following them,
realizing only those who follow
excellent leaders can lead with
excellence. Sit under their teachings.
Study their writings. Ask their
counsels. Listen to their heart. Ponder
their priorities. Envision their vision.
And keep at it until you are no longer a
timid, unsure, visionless shepherd who
can only offer his sheep followship.
offer your people real leadership. Focus
on God's vision and refocus whenever it
gets blurry. Speak the vision regardless
of who speaks against it or you. And
hold tightly to it no matter how
impossible its fulfillment may seem,
knowing the God who gave it will fulfill
it. Or, as Jesus said, "The scriptures
must be fulfilled" (Mark 14:49). Such
true, stable leadership has never been
more needed. And it will only become
more vital as we move toward the