How A Leader Gains Followers

And David became more and more powerful because the Lord Almighty was with him (1 Chronicles 11:9). 

David had followers from all twelve tribes of Israel—warriors, leaders, talented men, fierce men. David wasn’t recruiting them or promising them any rewards, but they volunteered, coming in “one accord” and creating “joy in Israel” in the process (12:1-40). 

David was prepared to go alone. He fled from Saul without a single helper. David’s attitude was one of all-in trust in God, so all of these warriors came to David because of what he represented, not because of what he advertised. It was David’s wholehearted commitment to God that won the wholehearted commitment of these valiant men.

Their unity of purpose—“fully determined … one mind” (12:38)—was not because of a compelling vision that David cast but because of a mighty God David fully feared and loved. 

A leader’s focus should never be on building a following or casting a compelling vision, but on wholehearted, single-minded love and commitment to God. Any power or following only comes “because the Lord Almighty was with him.” 

A mark of a godly leader is his wholehearted devotion to God which creates a wholehearted devotion in his followers. 

This is part 52 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here

No Looking Back

…He steadfastly set His face… (Luke 9:51). 

Jesus wasn’t about to be deterred, delayed, or detoured from fulfilling His Father’s mission. 

Some of the other Bible translations fill in this meaning:

  • resolutely (NLT) 
  • steadfastly and determinedly (AMP) 
  • gathered up His courage and steeled Himself (MSG)
  • “to turn in a certain direction, confirm it, and resolutely follow it” (Strong’s Concordance)

Jesus could do this for at least three reasons—

  1. He knew “the time had come” (see v. 51 and John 13:1, 3) 
  2. He knew the joy at the end of the journey (Hebrews 12:2)
  3. He knew His Father loved Him (John 3:35, 5:20, 10:17)

A mark of a godly leader is one who resolutely follows God. No matter what!

Jesus calls His followers to the same path He walked—“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62)

It’s hard because people reject a resolute man. 

It’s hard because the accommodations along the way are uncertain. 

It’s hard because I have to give up my right to myself. 

But the reward is incomparable—Heaven forever with Jesus!

This is part 33 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Don’t dare to be different, dare to be yourself—if that doesn’t make you different then something is wrong.” —Laura Baker

“Real joy is to be found in the presence of God, with Jesus Christ, secure and loved forever and ever (Psalm 16:11). Knowing the presence of God is the unique privilege of all who have made the Kingdom turn. God never changes in His love for us, and Jesus Christ holds us fast forever, regardless of the outward circumstances of our lives. The result of experiencing this is joy.” —T.M. Moore

“We can do nothing unless by a supernatural grace of God. It is God who gives the will. It is God who gives the power.” —John Calvin

“How singularly does God, in political events, prepare men’s minds for the particular phase which His church assumes! … I cannot go into the question now, but every Christian student of history knows that the circumstances of the outward world have ever been arranged by God so as to prepare the way for the advance of His great cause.” —Charles Spurgeon

“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to His Word and will.” —Sinclair B. Ferguson

Eric Metaxas reminds us why Darwinism cannot explain religion. Check out Saber-tooth Psychology.

New emails continue to show the tragedy that Benghazi is. Hold our leaders accountable!

Tim Elmore explains how leading and following must go hand-in-hand.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell challenges us to enrich other people’s lives—

15 Quotes From “I Am A Follower”

I Am A Follower by Leonard Sweet turned my leadership thoughts upside down (or is that right-side up?). I would strongly encourage you to read this book, especially if you are in church “leadership.”

It wasn’t east to do, but here are 15 great quotes from I Am A Follower —

“The Greek noun perichoresis was the early church’s favorite word to describe the interrelationship of the holy Trinity. When the prefix peri (around) is linked with the root of the verb choreuein (to dance), a compelling metaphor is formed or  ‘choreographed’ to describe the ‘one nature in three Persons’ of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Literally they ‘dance around.’ The choreia or dance of God is the choreography of the cosmos, the interrelationship of Creator, creation, and life itself, the holy creativity of the All in All.”

“Following is the most underrated form of leadership in existence.”

“The cry for leadership is deafening amid our social disintegration, our moral disorientation. We have come to believe that we have a leadership crisis while all along we have been in a drought of discipleship. The Jesus paradox is that only Christians lead by following.”

“The church has become what [Dwight] Eisenhower predicted: a place where everyone is trying to get everyone else to do what they want done but don’t want to do themselves.” 

“Leadership is a function. Followership is an identity. …Leadership is a functional position of power and authority. Followership is a relational posture of love and trust. …Being a follower is less about showing how much you know than showing humble gratitude for how much there is to be known.”

“Have we made Christianity more a moment of decision than a momentum for life? Both are important, but have we spent more time on how you become a Christian than on what it means to live as a Christian? Both are important, but have we made holiness more about a destination than a direction?” 

“But to think we can capture and tame Truth is a delusional trap. In fact, the desire for command and control above our desire to please God dams up the rivers of Living Water.”

“Christ does not ask of His followers great success or great fame or great distinction. Christ expects of His followers what He expected of Himself: simply ‘to do the will of Him Who sent Me.’”

“Never in the history of humanity has knowledge been more accessible and of such quality. But when our thirst for information, expertise, and control begins to outrun our thirst for Christ, we can easily trade the waters of the Spirit for a soda-pop substitute. When we place our faith in fillers instead of allowing the Spirit to fill us, we end up selling out not only Christ but ourselves.”

“Leadership culture is strength based. Followership culture is weakness based. …We bless others naturally through our strengths. But we bless others supernaturally through our weaknesses.”

“The disciples were instructed to feed the sheep, not lead them. Christ will lead them. Jesus is the Shepherd. We are the sheep. All of us.”

“Near the end of John’s gospel we find Jesus’ poignant words: ‘As You have sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.’ Did you catch that sneaky as? Jesus’ commissioning of His disciples was simply an echo of His own commissioning.” 

“The relationship between leader and follower is this: leaders are over, followers are among. We are all Jesus followers.”

“The leadership paradigm creates folk heroes. Followership creates heroes who are folk.”

“Jesus told His disciples that the sheep always know the Master’s voice. To follow Jesus is not to demand road signs but to respond to the Voice of the Spirit along the way.”

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