Being a Good Follower

November 22, 2011


On first thought, this post has nothing to do with missions.

On second thought, this post has everything to do with missions.

I gave a devotion on Being A Good Follower recently and had a lot of positive feedback on it.  This post is a bit skeletal in nature but hopefully you will receive some encouragement from it to be a good follower in your various life spheres.

“FOLLOW ME AS I FOLLOW CHRIST” – Paul, 1 Corinthians 11:1

Missionary Leaders and Followers

What is the relevance of being a good follower to missions?

  • To lead well, a leader must know how to follow well.
  • Leading locals into faith is best done as a fellow sojourner, as one who knows how to follow as well as how to lead.
  • Missionaries follow their pastors, their agencies and other leaders and mentors in their lives.
  • Churches and mission agencies need to understand how best to lead missionaries, allowing missionaries to lead when at times you may want them to only follow.

Being a Good Follower Builds Good Leaders

If you are still with me, here are a few basic thoughts on being a good follower:

  1. God, as ultimate leader, is sympathetic to the plight of leadership, and so he has given us commands on how to be a good follower.
  2. It takes a lot of good followers to make a good leader.
  3. The better I follow, the better my leader will lead.

In short, being a good follower builds good leaders.

How to Follow Political Leaders

In today’s America, we pretty much show complete disdain for our political leaders.  However, doesn’t God still want us to respect them and to…

  • Recognize what we are in for and what will be demanded of us – 1 Samuel 8:10-18
  • Show honor to those who lead – 1 Peter 2:17
  • Pray for those who lead us – 1 Timothy 2:1-2

The Occupy movement is followers who are fed up with their political leadership taking things into their own hands.   Maybe it’s time for good followers to rise up and build a new generation of good political leaders.

How to Follow Church Leaders

  • Imitate their faith and consider their way of life – Hebrews 13:7
  • Obey their teachings – Hebrews 13:7,17
  • Submit to them – Hebrews 13:17
  • Allow them to serve with joy – Hebrews 13:17

When I left my previous church it was because I could no longer be a good follower under those leaders.  Rather than simply point my fingers at their leadership abilities, I chose to take responsibility for my inability to follow their style, their preferences and their understanding of biblical eldership.

How to Follow Personal Leaders (mentors, bosses, associations, parents, community, etc.)

  • Obey them unconditionally – Colossians 3:22
  • Work as unto the Lord – Colossians 3:23-24

The Abuse of Leadership and Humility Before God

God is sensitive to the abuse of leadership, when leaders seek their own way, rather than what is best for the people.  He holds leaders accountable for their actions and motives.  This compels a good Christian follower to help out his leader as much as possible.

Regardless of your position, the right attitude is always one of humility before God.

Good Followers Seek Unity and Give The Benefit of The Doubt

The rules for following the leader will look different in different leader/follower contexts but the attitude for a good follower always follows along the lines of humility, seeking unity and giving your leader the benefit of the doubt.

Being a good follower is a form of leadership.  Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

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4 Comments on “Being a Good Follower”

  1. Moredays Says:

    I love this, i think it is better to teach people about followership. If anybody follow well will end up being a better.



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