When I was in the military, we used to say that “good leadership attracts good soldiers.” This is true on several levels as the soldiers that serve under good leaders are going to up their game. The same group of soldiers that followed a sub par leader will likely perform better for a superior leader. It is also true in the sense that where there is a culture of great leadership, there will be a demand to join that unit. The best soldiers will want to be a part of the best environment led by the best leaders. They’ll come to you.
As I’m looking at discipleship recently, I’m coming to the same conclusion. If we want people to be disciples, it takes strong leadership. Jesus invited people to “follow Me” and they left their livelihoods for this life of faith. Jesus knew who He was and He was about His business. There was no second guessing, compromise or inconsistency in the invitation and direction that Jesus was calling others towards. That is good leadership.
Think about the commitment necessary to follow an entirely new, culturally contrary way of life, religion and thinking. Jesus was ushering in the Kingdom of God; everything that everyone thought they knew up to this point was getting turned upside down and backwards. The commitment to follow required an “all-in” determination that risked everything.
Sometimes we forget the radical and total call of the Gospel. We can get lulled into thinking that this is a comfortable, easy life of being good. The western, suburban church is privileged to the point that sacrifice and challenge are not accepted as plausible possibilities. Our comfort distracts us from the totality of the surrender.
Want people to get discipled? Lead well. When you lead well:
- Not everyone will follow but those that do are for real
- Your conviction and authenticity are as important as your knowledge and systems
- You’ll be forced to respect the decision of others regarding if they really want in or not as you won’t have time to compromise from your purpose
- The self-learning which is necessary will prevent others from mistaking the disciple maker for someone more than they are intended to be
- The disciple maker will be about his purpose and others will be invited along with the result being a shoulder to shoulder impartation more than a classroom education
- The disciples that result will be Kingdom focused as the Kingdom is the context and purpose for their faith and learning