Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leading Into Followship...

Ok, we still don't have internet at our house so I'm sitting in McDonald's running on my battery... this may be shorter than usual. Did you know McDonald's has zero electrical receptacles in the dining area? Me neither.

Let me take a minute to explain that odd little video I posted on my Facebook page yesterday.
It was filmed at the Sasquatch Music Festival somewhere in Washington. I don't know when or where. I don't even know who the people in the video are. Yesterday, during one of the teaching sessions at Annual Conference, Leonard Sweet showed us that video. He was talking about being a lone nut and doing what you feel called to do regardless of whether there are followers or not. But more than that, he was talking about followship. Not fellowship, followship.

I was impressed with something he said. He said that lots of people will go to leadership training events, but very few would sign up for a workshop teaching them how to follow. After all, isn't that what we all are? I may be a church leader. I may pastor churches with dozens or with hundreds, but even as a church leader, I am a follower. Sometimes I think we forget that.

I'm not afraid to step out in front. I'm not afraid to be the lone nut, following my call, while everyone else looks on. I'm also not afraid to be the first follower. You know what that is, right? The first person to realize that someone else has caught a vision, that it might just be God sent, and that maybe I need to go check it out.

It's easy to be out in front. It's not always so easy to step in behind someone else and follow. As long as I'm just watching, there is no fear of looking like a nut myself. What if they're wrong and what they feel they need to do is not going to work? What if other folks watching think we're crazy for following? What if it really doesn't work? You see, those questions don't scare me anymore. Why? Because I know what it feels like to fail miserably, but I also know what it feels like to be in on the ground floor of something that works beautifully. I would have never experienced the taste of God at work had I been afraid to step out and follow.

There is a term I would like to remind us of...critical mass. Leonard was talking about critical mass yesterday. In the Sasquatch video, critical mass is important because it is the tipping point. No longer is it just one or two, or even a few, catching a vision and getting on board. It's a whole group. It's easy for us in the church to reach critical mass, isn't it? After all, the book says all we need is two or three and Jesus is there with us. Critical mass.

I'm getting ready to become a follower to the "nth" degree. I've been preparing my folks at First Church for several months, so they know that I'm up to something but I haven't clued them into what it is just yet. Sunday I'm casting the vision. I'm throwing out the nets. It may appear that I'm stepping out in front, and that I'm leading this group of Jesus followers into unknown territory, but...I'm just taking my place as the first follower. No matter how much it appears that I may be leading, I'm always following another.

And that is how it should be. No leader can be a good leader, especially in the church, until they first learn how to be a good follower. So, First Church, get ready. I've taken my place as the first follower and I'm going to ask you to help me reach critical mass. We'll see what happens.

No fear. That's how I roll. As Jesus followers, that's how we can all roll. So if you're curious, or tired of the same old same old, or if you're ready to join me as first followers, send me a text, 270-748-9619. I don't know where it's going to go, but I'm no longer afraid to lead...or to follow. The video is posted on my facebook page if you missed it yesterday, check it out.


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