They are watching every move you make.

The tune being sung in most leadership blogs and forums is that leaders should be leading by example. And of course that’s true. There are however at least two more verses to that song.

To effectively lead by example:

  • you must have the respect of the people following.
  • you don’t have to be in an official leadership position to lead.

If the people around you do not respect you they will not follow your example. Leadership by example is not only about surface activities or doing things well, it is very much about doing the right things, or the morally correct things. For example, would you follow a Bible study leader who is a serious student of Scripture and has great inductive Bible study technique but is mean spirited in personal relationships? Of course not! A non-Christian or a younger Christian would be so turned off by that behavior that they would not even do Bible study because of the example set. Leading by example works only if they see you as a person of integrity.

Second, you don’t have to be in an official leadership position to lead, especially when leading by example. As a Christian you are being watched by both Christians and non-Christians alike. Since you are being watched, you have the opportunity; regardless of your official position in the world, in the Church, in your family, or in any other capacity, to lead by example. One humble student of the Word who loves people is a far more effective leader than a thousand people in leadership positions who are unkind.

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NASB)

To sum things up:

  • Leading is by example, but only if the people around you respect you.
  • Leading by example doesn’t require an official title.

Application:

How are you leading?

Like it or not you are setting an example. What kind of example are you setting?

Attitude and integrity count. Are you kind? Loving? Gentle.
You can learn so much from studying great leaders in God’s Word and applying the wisdom of the Lord to your life. Check out recommended Bible studies on “Leadership” by clicking here:

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