Grace and Truth
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 19 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Grace and Truth)
WHEN LEADERSHIP IS WEAKER THAN FOLLOWSHIP
Years ago when I was in college, some of us preacher boys made a weekly visit to an old, retired missionary who lived near our town. We would listen to him by the hours as he taught us and gave us bits of wisdom and advice.
One day I went to him to tell him that I was quitting school. He asked me why. I told him that I was quitting because so many of the faculty members were weak and seemed spiritually dead. He gave me some advice I've never forgotten.
He said, "Mr. Hyles, I want you to be a complete man. You may already be more of a complete man than any individual faculty member. Perhaps none of the faculty members are complete men, but each of the faculty members is an expert in his own field and there is at least one area where each excels you. If you can learn from each man in his own field, then you can become the well-rounded complete man that I want you to become."
One of the hardest things that followers, especially teenagers, face is the realization that they must sit under people who in many areas are their inferiors and who sometimes can be unreasonable and illogical in their leadership. There are times when a leader is not as good a Christian as the follower. There are times when the leader is inferior to the follower. However, the wise follower will fill his place and follow the leader who has a position that is superior to his.
Every man knows something that I do not know. I must find what it is and learn it. Hence, all men are my teachers. All men are my teachers, for all men know something I do not know.
I have often defined leadership as being one who collects ideas from the followers, compiles them and sends each follower a copy.
When a restless follower shrinks from his obligation to follow his leader, he can develop a bad attitude which will hurt his opportunity for service and harm his future. If he accepts his place of followship, even under a weaker leader, he can learn a tremendous lesson in self-control.
Every follower must realize that it is God's plan for us to have human leaders. If each follower will assume his rightful place, respecting at least the office of his leader, it will help him to become a better leader as God places him in a place of larger responsibility.
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