How to learn when to lead and when to follow

There are some passages in the Bible that always make me think of a specific sermon I once heard on them.  For me 1 Samuel 14 will always remind me of a sermon my friend Joel Virgo preached in 2009, entitled The Armor Bearer.  His point, was in many ways similar to the one I made a few days ago.  I urged people not to aim to be the “number one” leader unless it is very clear that is what God is calling them to. Joel made the point that in many ways the real hero of this passage is Jonathan’s armour bearer. Of course many in some circles have twisted this passage to urge people to basically act as servants to their leaders, which is not the point at all.

Rather what we see here is both Jonathan and his armour bearer eager to do what they can individually to serve the greater cause.  The key question is simply this: how am I best placed to help the Kingdom? It really doesnt matter if you are an armour bearer turned co-warrior, or the son of a leader who will be eventually passed over for someone else. We all have a role. And we must all be prepared to lead when and where God calls us to, and to follow when and where he calls us to.  Even if you are the “lead pastor” of a church, it may well be that God is calling you to learn from and follow someone else. Or at least, as Jonathan did here, we must be humble enough to be in a real team with others, and to listen to them.  If nobody is following you, it may simply mean you are not involving them. But it may mean that you were never meant to be the kind of leader you are trying to be.



About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, and a writer. Since 1995 he has been a member of Jubilee Church London. Adrian serves as part of Jubilee's leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.
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