I am sure we can all remember playing a version of ‘Follow the Leader’ when we were younger. Whether that came in the form of ‘Simon Says’ or the basic ‘Follow the Leader’—the concept was the same. Each of these games has a designated leader with whom the audience’s objective is to imitate their actions. It’s fun and it’s simple. But, when it comes to our lives—choosing and following a leader is not as simple as our childhood play.
Every one of us is lead by someone or something.
So, that begs the questions why follow Jesus and how?
Why Follow Jesus?
He has a vision and He shares it with us.
When Jesus was just a boy, it’s recorded in Luke that while He was in the temple He was sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. It was then that Jesus was gearing up to begin His ministry, increasing in wisdom and favor with God. From a young age, Jesus knew His purpose and He held close to the vision of His father and the gospel. And like any great leader, Jesus shares His vision with His disciples and the masses:
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” – Luke 4:18
Abundant life, good news, and freedom. What a vision. Jesus, throughout His ministry, called His followers to share in this vision alongside Him, but also to invite others of all races, religions, ages, and gender to become a part of His vision in bringing the kingdom of Heaven to Earth.
He operates through servant leadership.
“The most radical social teaching of Jesus was His total reversal of the contemporary notion of greatness. Leadership is found in becoming the servant of all.” Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline
Jesus was not the leader expected by the Israelites. His appearance did not fit the leader mold. He was born in a stable. He was not born of privilege or wealth. But—it was how Jesus led, in humility and service, that revolutionized society’s way of thinking.
“Jesus shattered the customs of His day by taking women seriously and by being willing to meet with children. He lived the cross-life when He took a towel and washed the feet of His disciples. This Jesus who easily could have called down a legion of angels to His aid instead chose the cross-death of Calvary. His life was the life of submission and service.” Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline
Throughout the life of Jesus, He took the time to be with people, all people—to hear them, see them, heal them, and feed them. His ministry was people-driven, and largely focused on service.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
So, how do we ‘Follow the Leader’? Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Unlike the games of our past, it is not achieved within a 5-minute timespan as you follow the teacher to the cafeteria, but it is a daily pursuit. Take up your cross daily and follow me. It’s a daily pursuit, that is lived out by living a life of service. Deny yourself. Our leader is calling us. He is calling us to an abundant life. A life that provides freedom and healing. A life of service to others. And the coolest part about it? As we follow our leader, and live lives of service—we become co-leaders with Christ, and get to invite others to join in on this vision of abundant life, freedom and healing.
Take up your cross.
The Evans Sisters
CDR Camper 2002-2009
CDR Staff 2011-2014
CDR Camper 2003-2011
CDR Staff 2012-2013, 2015