We all focus on being leaders. And yeah we are leaders in one way or another. Some of us are positional leaders while others are more of influential leaders even without a position. But we must agree that there can be no leadership without followership. And no matter what kind of a leader you are, to a larger extent you too are a follower.
I would like to extract some followership principles from Jesus as shown in John 10:1-13. We know that the Leadership of Christ is accurate, perfect, complete and lacking nothing. So today we won't talk about quality leadership because we are following a perfect leader (assuming you follow Jesus). We will look at quality followership.
- Leadership (Jesus) comes through the GATE.
Jesus does force his way into the pen but He uses the gate. He uses legitimate means. He must be let in. You are the owner of your heart and you regulate who comes in and who goes out. So you must give Jesus access. Quality followership means giving authorization and building a connection. Have you given the shepherd access to your heart? The man who enters through the gate is the shepherd.
- Robbers and stealers come through other means.
The robbers break in. They force their way. The enemy does not ask for permission, he invades. How fortified is your pen? Quality followership means being fortified so that we can deter robbers from accessing the inside. Fortification means building ourselves strong enough to withstand the tricks of the enemy.
- The watchman opens the gate for the shepherd.
The watchman is the Holy Spirit. Quality followership means being led by the Holy Spirit. It’s through the Holy Spirit that our hearts are able give access to the Shepherd.
- The sheep listens to His (shepherd’s) voice.
Have you ever heard a parent describe an obedient child? They always say….. This one listens me. (Huyu mtoto huniskiza). Listen here means obedience. It is not listen in the usual sense, it is being able to figure out what you are required to do and doing it. Quality followership means walking in obedience. Should I add that it should be complete obedience?
- He calls his own sheep by name
Where I came from, we used to give names to cows, but not to goats or sheep. It’s funny to note that these sheep of Jesus are called by name. Name here stands for destiny and purpose. Quality followership means allowing the shepherd to define us and to unfold our purpose.
- The shepherd goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice.
Again where I came from, we used to look after the sheep from behind. We could not trust the sheep to follow us, so we looked after them and not lead them. Quality followership means knowing how to be led and knowing how to follow. Tracking the shepherd, trusting the shepherd to know your needs and where the pasture is and believing the shepherd is better than us.
- They will never follow a stranger but rather will run away from stranger’s voice.
My grandmother’s sheep were like her babies. If she would get late and you try to get them outside the pen, they would literally refuse to move. Quality followership means being intimate with the shepherd. This intimacy becomes a protective means against stranger’s voice.
- A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
True leadership is demonstrated through service and sacrifice and the fruit bore. Has the shepherd produced more life for the sheep or has life been destroyed, killed or stolen? How protected is the sheep when the wolf comes? Is the shepherd hired or he is a co-heir? Quality followership means being under a true leader.
- I have other sheep that are not of this pen, I must bring them also.
Followership does not end with being a follower; it ends in bringing others to where you are. Quality followership facilitates the development of other followers. Followers must understand that they too are leaders.
- Is this man demon possessed?... maybe not.. how does he open the eyes of the blind?
Leadership is an eye opening experience that brings followers to a place of clarity and sight. Quality Followership is walking under a leadership that takes you to the next level.
Thank you for being a quality follower of this post I hope it’s been worthwhile.