Leading By Example
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."1
General Eisenhower would demonstrate the art of leadership with a piece of string. He'd put it on a table and say: "PULL it and it will follow wherever you wish. PUSH it and it will go nowhere at all. It's just that way when it comes to leading people. They need to follow a person who is leading by example."2
People who lord it over others are control freaks. They are insecure people who only feel secure when they are controlling others—or think they are. And whether they are seeking to lead a church, a class, a team, their family, or just one other person—or as a politician—they are not being effective leaders but pushers. Secure people will want to avoid this type of person. The only way to be an effective leader is to be a "puller." That is, to lead by example.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a true follower of Jesus and to lead others to you by my example; that is, by modeling the person you want me to be, so that others seeing your direction of my life will also want to be a follower of Jesus. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV).
2. Michael P. Green, Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989, p. 216.