by Mike Whitney
My little grandson, Parker, wants to be a leader in the worse way. He’s four and by reason of his advanced years over his brother, Levi, who is 1, and his cousin, Whitney, who is 3, he is the unopposed leader of this little pack. They are a lot of fun to watch and there are not a few lessons for me as a leader to learn, as well. One of those lessons that Parker will learn as he grows up (and that I have learned and need to relearn every now and then) is that to be a good leader, one must learn how to be a good follower.
That is the subject of this week’s Bell Tower. As we continue the search for a Pastor to lead us, we need to ask ourselves: “are we ready to be good followers”? There can only be one leader. There may be many men to help our Pastor determine God’s will for our church, but in the end, he is our leader. Hebrews 13:17 says: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give and account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you”.
This verse is self-explanatory. Let me just say here that without an attitude of submission no organization, especially God’s church, can long survive. Ephesians 5:21 says for all of us to “submit to each other out of reverence for Christ”. Now, what does that look like? We will talk about what it means for leaders to submit at a later time. Today we will examine our role as a congregation in the submission process.
God is going to give our new Pastor a vision for reaching Bath and beyond with the gospel. Some of his ideas may align with our thoughts and, most assuredly, some will not. That is where the submission comes in. He will communicate that vision to us. Then, after much prayer and discussion, if there is no Biblical principle to be violated, we will be obligated to follow our leader. This is easy if we agree with that vision, but what if we do not agree? The simple answer is we must agree to disagree agreeably. By God’s grace, we will choose a man who loves God and is committed to obeying Him. We MUST trust that that is true and follow his lead. God gave Moses the vision for leading the Israelites not all the Israelites.
Now you may be thinking what about holding him accountable? Good question. We’ll talk about that the next time. A godly man will not resent that. But, that is totally different than disobedience, rebellion and contention.