May 21, 2010

Leading by Example?

I attended Pastor's Prayer Partners a.k.a. Men's Prayer Breakfast a.k.a. Freaking Early Prayer & Free Food Time today and a couple things came out of that time.

1.) I need to be a part of that a lot more often. It was so refreshing to be with older guys that have been in so many different places and seasons of life. In addition it was awesome to spend focused prayer times with those guys.

2.) The theme of "example" came out of the morning. As a group we were celebrating Pastor Dave's Birthday and speaking words of encouragement and prayers over him. Through this time, it was clear that his example was one of the critical, if not the entire origin, of Dave's leadership. And, truthfully, I am extremely blessed to work in an environment that allows for me to follow the example of the men and women I serve alongside.

This got me thinking about this idea of "example." We have many different examples that are thrust to the forefront of our lives because of social status, public office and popularity. These people have assumed the call to lead in some way and have been given a sphere of influence. They are examples to some sort of following and, in some cases, that is really scary. But in others, that is extremely good and a very positive thing.

Paul gave us a perspective in 1 Corinthians 11:1 that sets the need for leaders and those with influence to lead by example: "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." The NIV states it more directly, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." The hard part about all this is thinking that Paul wants us to be like him. See, we have to get over the fact that Christ wants us to be like him, not do the things that Christ did, but to be like him. Follow His example and live lives that resemble the life that he might have lived.

In this society, it can be so hard to follow people. We have recently seen a number of "failures" by people who were supposed to be examples because of the influence that they had over people. Whether it is Floyd Landis, Lawrence Taylor or Mark Souder, situations like these make it very difficult to follow people in this world.

In addition to these, we have a crazy inability to actually imitate and not try to recreate the people that we take as examples. We try to carbon copy the people that are imitating instead of trying to live by their example. I'm guilty of this in many situations. Instead of taking from Dave's example or Derry's example or Louie's example or Francis' example, I try to recreate the things that they did. I wouldn't try to "imitate" them at all. And this isn't healthy.

So, today, I commit myself to imitating the examples in my life. I dedicate to following the Godly men and women in my life by taking notes and applying them, within reason, to the situations in my life.

Who are you taking your example from?
How are you trying to imitate them?

1 comment:

Georgew4man said...

That's all great Coke!!! Proud of you being so open minded & willing to let Jesus' mark left on this world be your influence. Keep on, Keepin on!! Keep your eye on the ball!! Don't lose The Faith when others fail that seemed to be a stronger witness. There's no such witness. Pastor Dave even makes it very clear, "don't follow me, I will let you down sooner or later, Follow Him"... God can do extra extra ordinary things through a little Coke!!! George W.