1 Corinthians 4:16; “I beg you then to follow my example.”
“Leadership means setting an example. When you find yourself in a position of leadership, people follow your every move” (Lee Iacocca). They do. Would you agree, if you be honest, that there are precious few examples in leadership to follow in the world today? Consider some of the leaders both in this country and globally - not many to follow there, right? Why? Because of the example they are setting. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another” (John C Maxwell). As a leader, is your life influencing those you lead? Positively, or negatively? Possibly the most important question in this context is this one; “Are you a life-giving leader? ‘Life-giving leaders’ are seen to “create energy, enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty, and have a contagious way of infusing a sense of purpose, motivation, and confidence in those who follow them.” In contrast, ‘life-sucking leaders’ leave in their wake “dispirited, defeated, discouraged people, divided organisations, chaos, confusion, and a general spirit of fear or powerlessness.” Many of those who are called to be an example to us all illustrate, with their lives and actions, that morals and ethical values have become null and void, and, certainly not part of their vocabulary or lifestyle. Is this a problem? I feel weird asking the question. Look, one has only to see the plight of those and that which they lead to find your answer. Think of a leader in this country who might come to mind in this context. Is there one that does? What do you think people will say about that person when their leadership tenure ends? Well, you will most definitely not have youngsters saying; “Man, he/she is my role-model, I want to be just like them when I grow up!” It’s scary, right? Why? Because of the example they are setting. For those of us reading this who are Christian leaders, there is no finer example for Christian leadership than our Lord Jesus Christ. In our text today, Paul was an example to the church family. He was a good example because he was following the greatest example of all, Jesus Christ. But Paul was also a good teacher. It takes both example and instruction to bring a child to maturity. Jesus had a rather specific leadership and mentoring style, and He made it perfectly clear: He led so that we can follow. How are you, as a leader, doing in this context? As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push themselves, and, in turn, the organisation to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself. Can you tick that box?