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Finding a better word

December 1, 2009 1 comment

Over the last 10 years the words leader and leadership have been a big concern in my life. Understandable, I suppose. As a Christian who derives a living from ministry leadership, it seemed like the most important word. And all the books on ministry seemed to confirm that this word was most important. Truthfully, its a word that still matters to me.

But over the last year, a new word has replaced it on the top of my big-words-that-shape-and-focus-my-life list.  It is a word that has much, much more biblical profile than leader or leadership.  It seemed to be a favorite word of Jesus.  It seems to be a disliked word in American culture–a prejorative for people who don’t have life figured out.  The word?  Follower.

In a great post by Leonard Sweet, he says:

My fundamental category is “follower.” Even when Jesus calls me up to the front of the line, I still lead “from behind.” For the last fifty years the church has made a fetish of a word that is hard to find even once in the New Testament (“leader”) and has ignored a word that is found hundreds of times (“mathetes” or “follower,” “disciple”).

I can say that the same has become true for me.  And so as I launch a new blog, I’m shaping it around following rather than leading.  I want to share my journey as I follow Jesus.  Leadership won’t be a dirty word here.  But it will be subject to followership, following, follower and disciple.

Thanks for stopping by and joining me as I follow.