What makes a leader worthy to follow? Relevance? Intelligence? Vision?
All of that misses the point.
Why don’t we follow “people with an ardent desire
to dwell in God's presence,
to listen to God's voice,
to look at God's beauty,
to touch God's incarnate Word
and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?”
quotation from Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus (1989)
You remember, brothers and sisters, our efforts and hard work. We preached God’s good news to you, while we worked night and day so we wouldn’t be a burden on any of you. You and God are witnesses of how holy, just, and blameless we were toward you believers. Likewise, you know how we treated each of you like a father treats his own children. We appealed to you, encouraged you, and pleaded with you to live lives worthy of the God who is calling you into his own kingdom and glory.
We also thank God constantly for this: when you accepted God’s word that you heard from us, you welcomed it for what it truly is. Instead of accepting it as a human message, you accepted it as God’s message, and it continues to work in you who are believers.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
How can I know whether or not a leader is a good leader? Does the leader constantly ask for money to become personally rich? Would the leader care about me even if I were poor or sick? Is he or she an encourager? Does the leader encourage me to follow God's word?
Paul lifts up some characteristics of a good leader in this passage. It might sound like a humble brag — but Paul wants to point the people to God: “We were just the bearer’s of God’s word. It’s not even our message. It’s all about God’s kingdom.”
So you might ask: Is my leader holy, just, and blameless, like Paul was in his work with the Thessalonians? Does he or she care about the people entrusted to their care as a parent would his or her own children? Does the leader appeal to the followers to live lives worthy of God?
Lord, set holy, pure, and blameless leaders over me that I may follow their example. Enable me to have the humility to be led in your ways. Amen.
May I see the opportunities to lead and have the humility to follow the leaders who are following the Lord's path.