A Leader Leads When No One Follows

   Nelson Mandela languished 27 years a political prisoner; no contact with the outside world, unable to lead anyone. His burning goal during those years was to convince the prison authorities to let the prisoners wear uniforms more befitting of men. At this, he failed  completely.

   Sir Thomas More rotted away in the Tower of London, bereft of companionship, stripped of his influence and position. He was not allowed to read and had no writing materials. He held his spot and lost his head.

   The day He died, there were more people in the crowd crying for Barabbas than for Jesus Christ, whose death proved more useful.

   Sic Itur Ad Astra, Churchill was told, and he held to his stars during the lonely thirties when Lady Astor pronounced him finished and mocked him in the House of Commons.

    If you think you are a leader, you had better enjoy the view ahead. If you look back to see how follows, or to the side to see who joins, you will become what our current leadership is become; panderer-in-chief.

   Bonhoeffer was allowed some writing materials in prison. His guards spirited away some of his works to protect them for posterity. When he was led away to die, no one of his peers showed the courage to bemoan his agonizing death. Another generation would come and go before he was discovered, as the world sank into a superficial stupor. Our superficiality is why we think someone must follow if we are to be leaders. In truth, we must compromise every noble thought if we are to have followers in this empty age.

Opinions expressed here are mine alone, not those of the church I serve or any other person.

5 thoughts on “A Leader Leads When No One Follows”

  1. Rick,
    In the context of the ministry of the prophets, it seems the establishment religion and its tendency to pander is what gets us into so much trouble. Just as we live in the context of physical “laws” whose violation is painful and experience the reality of social roles whose violation brings hostility, there are spiritual axioms that we violate to our own chagrin.
    Pandering has cost us the high ground and has corroded our moral authority to the point that the idea of “cooperation” in the convention sense is laughable. Thank you again for your social commentary that makes us wonder if the gift of prophecy is again on the rise.

  2. So, Mandela, Sir Thomas, Bonhoeffer and a slew of others who never looked back have followers to this day. We know who they are and follow their examples of putting self aside to serve the Father.
    King David found the problem in looking to see who followed as he took a census. That proved very detrimental to all in his care. He, at last saw the harm and took responsibility and put himself back in the position of true leadership. His method was, by being in front of God and pleading for others he put himself at risk.
    If we are to have leaders today this will still be the model that works. Putting aside all encumbrances, they will run the race before them seeing only The Father, but living such a life of faith so that everyone sees and can follow their example. They will not need followers – that will happen or not naturally and that has and will define their life. Even if posthumously. The life that counts in God’s eyes probably is not near as short as the ones we see.

  3. We only fail if we quit walking in His ways. Of course, as only a mechanic can see the analogy, God can’t steer a parked car – forward or reverse He can get you on the right track.

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