Leadership Worthy of Followership

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We often picture Paul as a “grumpy old man.”  He’s no-nonsense, blunt, and sometimes downright offensive. So it surprises us to read these words in his letter to the church in Thessalonica: “Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well...you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8, 11, 12)

Paul? A nursing mother?

Paul? A caring father?

This is the Paul who never married and who never had children of his own. Although he had never had personal experience with either of those roles, he had observed them, and had been gifted with the instinct if not the experience, to understand how a mother and a father would treat their children.

But beyond the name and experience of the person writing these words is the message that they convey. The very nature of the word “leadership” tells us a great deal. Leaders lead, they don’t push from behind. Their example is worthy of a following. Followers follow a leader because they trust him or her not to lead them into danger or difficulty, to take them to a better place not a worse one.

The best way to built trust and to show oneself a leader trustworthy enough to be followed is to be a mom and dad to those we want to follow us.

To care.

To love.

To share our lives, even to the giving of those lives.

That’s mom.

To encourage.

To comfort.

To help others live Godly lives.

That’s dad.

And that’s leadership that is worth a followership.

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