James Kouzes and Barry Posner spent five years investigating the perceptions that followers had of leaders. In every survey they conducted, honesty was the most sought after leader characteristic. Similarly, a leader’s trust in others was the single most important behavior. In essence, the best leaders are trustworthy and lead by modeling trust in those who work for them. Competence, forward-looking, and inspirational were the other predominant qualities people look for in their leaders. But what I found most amazing in reading their article, “Leadership Is in the Eye of the Follower,” was the following statements: “Successful leadership depends far more on the followers perception of the leader than on the leaders abilities. Followers, not the leader, determine when someone possesses the qualities of leadership. In other words, leadership is in the eye of the follower.”
Matthew 4:19,20—“Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
What caused Andrew and Peter to leave their livelihood as fisherman to follow Jesus? They saw something in Him that was profoundly credible. Perhaps it was His teaching. Maybe they saw something unique in His disposition and manner. Whatever caught their eye and touched their heart remained forever with them. These men would not just follow Jesus, they would willingly and joyfully lay down their lives for Him.
When it comes to leaders, Jesus is the ne plus ultra. The law-obsessed religious leaders vainly tried to find fault in Him. He was perfectly honest. And, if ever there was a leader who held the right to do everything himself, it was God’s Son. Yet, He chose to trust His life and mission to imperfect followers. He trusted His disciples by giving them authority and then sending them away to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Mat. 10:1). Before He left for heaven, He formally commissioned His followers to go out into the world and make disciples (Mat. 28:19,20). In essence, God trusted His children to carry out His will.
Jesus’ ability to teach is unsurpassed. He teaches us how we are to live. He gives us a vision of a permanently restored relationship with God in heaven as a result of the grace He offers us—sin squelching grace! To say He is inspirational would be a huge understatement. Today, all around the globe, people’s lives are literally transformed as they place their faith in the Messiah. If leadership is in the eye of the follower, Jesus is unquestionably the greatest leader of all time. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
It is only when we rely on the Holy Spirit and obey His leadership that the authority of Jesus Christ is recognized. The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus only, consequently the interpretation of the Bible and of human life depends entirely on how we understand the character of Jesus Christ.—Oswald Chambers in If You Will Be Perfect
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Rachel Maxey Miles