You will never lead anyone who isn’t willing to be led by you. And you can only lead them where they already want to go.
Jesus said it this way: “How can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
This is a powerful, liberating truth for pastors and Christian leaders who are willing to abandon cultural assumptions about leadership and, instead, practice Jesus’ kind of leadership.
Consider: How much positional authority did Jesus use to obtain follower-ship?
How often did He invite disciples to choose: “in” or “out”? When did He coerce? Manipulate? When they faced an impasse, how frequently did he grasp control, disempowering those around Him?
From the calling of Andrew to the provision He made for Mary when He was on the cross, Jesus seems to have consistently led by invitation.
When Jesus’ vision “overlapped” with those who heard Him, they followed.
The same is true for you.
You will only effectively lead others in the area where your vision and theirs coincide.
In the diagram below, your vision for your congregation’s impact is represented by the yellow zone. Anna, a gifted lay leader’s vision, is in the red zone. The area where you and Anna get to collaborate is the orange area.
I spend the majority of my time coaching and equipping ministers. They give me permission to influence them in the zone where their vision and mine overlap, where we’re agreed.
You and I get to “play” together where our visions coincide... and no two leader's visions ever coincide completely. That’s OK. Each person the Holy Spirit has placed in your congregation has been singularly shaped and prepared to touch lives and to embody the Christ distinctively.
When God makes something, He makes each unique. But, when humans make so many things, we labor to make them all the same. Cults labor for uniformity and conformity...
This is not so in the freedom for which Christ died.
We thrive together in that space, passionately pursuing what Christ has called each of us to... and most powerfully when it aligns.