The key to leadership is “followership”—and followership is always voluntary.

Amos 3 3Said another way: you’ll never lead anyone who isn’t willing to be led by you.

And you can only lead them where they already want to go.

This is a powerful, liberating truth for pastors and Christian leaders who are willing to break with the wrongheaded cultural assumptions about leadership and, instead, practice Jesus’ kind of leadership.

Consider:

  • How much positional authority did Jesus use to elicit followership?
  • How often did he invite disciples to choose: “in” or “out”?
  • When did he coerce? Manipulate?
  • When they faced an impasse, how frequently did he grasp control, disempowering whose around him?

From the calling of Andrew, to the provision he made for the care of Mary when he was on the cross, Jesus led by invitation.

And, when Jesus’ vision “overlapped” with those who heard him, they followed.

So with you.

You will only effectively lead others in the area where your vision and theirs coincide.

In the diagram below, your vision for your congregation’s impact is represented by the yellow zone. Anna, a gifted lay leader’s vision is the red zone. The area where you and Anna get to collaborate to advance the Kingdom is the orange area.

overlap 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spend the majority of my waking hours coaching and equipping ministers. They give me permission to influence them in the zone where their vision and mine overlap.

Where we’re agreed.

Want to know how to soothe, calm, and pacify an entitled, demanding church member? Don’t ask me! I have no room in my vision for Jesus’ Church for coddling the immature or appeasing the petty terrorist on your elder board.

this way 4Sorry, no vision overlap.

Want to explore ways to more effectively concentrate your resources on entertaining church members? I couldn’t care less. I mean it. I have no burden for putting on excellent feel-good productions for religious consumers. None.

No overlap.

But, you want to lead a congregation that routinely trusts Christ and risks to demonstrate the Good News to those in the community outside? I’m all about that!

HUGE overlap!

Need help to identify, equip, and mobilize more lay leaders to reflect the character of Christ as they advance the Kingdom along side your staff? You bet!

You and I get to “play” together where our visions coincide.

And, no two leaders visions completely coincide.

And that’s OK.

Each person the Holy Spirit has placed in your congregation has been singularly shaped and prepared to touch lives and to embody the “Jesus kind of life” distinctively.

When God makes a thing, he makes each unique. Consider snowflakes, evergreens, mountains. But, when humans make so many things, we labor to make them all the same.

Cults labor for uniformity, conformity. Not so in the freedom for which Christ died.

We thrive together in that space, passionately pursuing what Christ has called each of us to. Most powerfully when it aligns.