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Five Reasons “Followship” Must Transcend Leadership By Todd Gaddis

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It seems that everywhere I turn these days for information and inspiration, the emphasis is on leadership. Books on leadership make up a sizable portion of the Christian non-fiction market. Blogs on the subject abound. A recent Facebook posts screams: “The church is desperate for good leaders.” No doubt that’s true; yet I submit to you that the church stands in greater need of good followers.

I figured I was on to something when recently coming across this quote from Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy: “To excel at leadership you must first master followership.” Cathy’s long-time associate and President of the company Jimmy Collins turned what he learned into a recent book titled, Creative Followership.

With that in mind, I believe that “followship” must take precedence over leadership if the church expects to maximize its influence and growth. Here are five reasons why.

Jesus emphasized following far more than leading.

Calling His first disciples, He said, “Come follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). Later, Jesus proclaimed, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). The disciples spent three years following before assuming leadership positions.

Too many people are in positions of leadership who don’t belong there.

Factors such as likeability and notoriety often outweigh obedience, dedication, and faithfulness when it comes to choosing leaders. Desperate to fill positions, churches choose deacons and form committees with members who attend services sporadically and are often uninformed about the makeup and ministry of the congregation.

 

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