I believe followership is just as important as leadership. I just wish we lived in a world where the gift of following was recognized and given value as an integral aspect of the Christian life. There are plenty of examples of young people being recognized for their leadership, and that’s fine. When was the last time you highlighted the work of young people who showed dedication, humility and a servant attitude in their followership?
The students that typically stand out in a youth group are the dynamic individuals who seem destined to lead something…a group, a team, maybe a successful business. I would argue that there are others who listen and watch, who respectfully follow those with authority, and who learn far more about leadership than simply standing out in a crowd.
We live in a world in which leaders – born leaders – leaders who came from nothing – leaders who worked themselves to the top – are glorified. Everybody wants to be known as a leader, right? I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s the case, nor should it be the case.
In the simplest of terms, we are called to follow Christ. There are blessings, there is joy, and there is growth in following Jesus in this lost and broken world that is so loved by God. We should celebrate the opportunities that come through followership. Of course we need leaders. And sometimes followers grow into leaders. You can have all the leaders you need, but progress is rarely made without followers. Not followers who follow blindly without thought or purpose. But rather followers who follow with purpose.
You might think about bringing this up at your youth group. What do the students think? Do they value followership? Do you when you look at these students?