When to listen, when to follow and when to lead

When to listen, when to follow and when to lead Top 5 quotes from Leadership

"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."

"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"Being a leader is like being a lady, if you have to go around telling people you are one, you aren't."

"Lead, follow, or get out-of-the-way."

1909423_4008488788794_1071154827_omaxThis morning a group of roughly 50 men met for our Saturday morning men’s bible study (we call ourselves:  Men of Faith).  This is a very special group that has been growing over the past five years (spiritually) and it has been a joy and honor to be a leader in this group.  From 6:30am to 6:40am we sing praises to God.  From 6:40am to 7am we have to facilitators that lead discussion (which has scripture and usually a theme) and then from 7am to 7:30am we have 2 large group discussions.  From 7:30am to 8am we have small group prayer groups where some men confess, some men ask for prayer and some men listen more while others share more, but in any case we are carrying each other’s burdens through word, prayer and deed.  Again, it is a joy to be part of something so special. I have been walking with some men, some that are being mentored by me and others that are in accountability with me.  If you are not doing this then I would challenge you to find a “Paul” in your life (someone who speaks truth in love and yet holds you to biblical standards and truth.  I would also encourage you to find a “Timothy” in your life so you can pour into them as your “Paul” is pouring into you.  Through this process I have been sharpened, challenged and blessed to see the growth in men’s lives (including mine).  It is a humbling experience, yet so very rewarding.

Through LegacyDad.com, and through walking with men who are not part of men of faith, I feel sadness and compassion for men who are trying to do life as Lone Wolf McQuade.  The state of the average man in this world, spiritually, is very frightening.  In 2 Timothy 3  (NIV) we read, “3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”  I am saddened by how men our portrayed in this world as passive and as followers instead of leaders and men of integrity.  In talking with some of the men I walk with, it is almost as if the men in today’s culture are comfortable being relegated as the “follower” in marriage and parenthood instead of the spiritual leader that God calls us to be.

How do we move men from being “pew-sitters” to “heavy-hitters” in the kingdom of God?  How do we encourage, comfort and urge or brothers to live a life worthy of God?  How do we set in motion the things that God the father wants and expects from us instead of us serving ourselves?  This brings me to this post:  When to listen, when to follow and when to lead.

When to listen:  (James 1:19)

  • Be quick to listen, be slow to speak and be slow to become angry – this will save you years of heartache and frustration.
  • Read God’s word daily – meditate on his word, pray over his word and study and take notes on God’s word
  • Pray daily – walk with godly men and pray for each other and for each other’s needs
  • Spend quiet time with the Lord – listen for his ever so quiet voice.  Hear the words that He speaks through his Spirit

When to follow:

  • Turn around – When you think you are leading, then turn around and look to see if anyone is following you?  If they are not, then quietly get back “in line” and follow leaders that God has put before us.  Humble yourself before a Holy God and be content with what He has given us.
  • If you are not affirmed – if leadership of the church (Pastors, elders and lay-leaders) does not affirm you then don’t rebel or find discord instead anchor yourselves to Hebrews 13:17 which puts the onus on these leaders.  That is, if they are not in line with God’s will, then they will have to give an account for leading others astray – woe to these leaders!
  • Be honest - If you are serving two masters – you cannot lead others in God’s kingdom if you are being led astray by sin and trying to serve a Holy God.  Please don’t mistake my words here by thinking that I am saying that you have to be perfect to lead, I would rather tell you to flee from such leaders.  What I am saying is to be honest.  Repent and confess and let God direct your life to leadership.  (One exception:  Dad’s this does not apply to you in your home, we all sin, we all fall short, BUT as dad’s we are called to be prophets, priests and kings of our house and children – DO NOT SHIRK this responsibility.

When to lead:

  • Turn around – When you think you are leading, then turn around and look to see if anyone is following you?  If they are, then get down on your knees and ask for God’s leading, ask for His wisdom and discernment when you lead others.  Humble yourself before a Holy God and be content with what He has given you.
  • If you are affirmed – if the leaders of your church (Pastors, elders and lay-leaders) affirm you then quietly pray and seek God’s approval in this process.  Take a spiritual gifts test (click here to take a free test) to see if your gifts that God gives all Christians qualify you to be a leader.
  • Be Accountable – surround yourself with other godly men and have a wise counsel of others around you to keep you humble and encouraged through journey
  • If you are humble – the mark of a true leader is his/her humility and their walk with Jesus Christ

TimeToListen-560x280When it is all said and done, remember this quote by Thomas Paine, “Lead, follow, or get of the way.”  When Jesus began his ministry he chose 12 men who became his disciples.  He walked with them for three years pouring into them, teaching them and living life with them daily.  I marvel at the New Testament how when Jesus called the 70 disciples to go two by two unto the world to proclaim the gospel – I don’t know about you, but I said to myself, “Self, where did these 70 disciples come from?”  Clearly, they were with Jesus and the twelve along the way.  They were watching, learning and being trained by Jesus and his disciples.  When they were ready, Jesus called them to task.

This is a great example to all of us.  Be humble in all circumstances.  We are to encourage, comfort and urge others to live a life worthy of God.  In all you do, let go and let God lead your path.  Be content in all circumstances.