“We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest February 19
Today’s My Utmost reminded me one of my favorite attributes about God. We must take action as if we trust him. If we fail to act, we don’t really trust. We see this throughout the Bible. Chambers is writing this about Isaiah 60:1 and the two words that begin the verse and chapter, “Arise, shine.” James, the half-brother of Jesus also mentions it in James Chapter 2 when he says that faith without works is dead, being by itself. (James 2:14-26)
Seven years ago today, my wife and I joined thirteen other people at LeaderPalooza, an un-conference Vicky and I hosted as the Lead Change Group. We each stuck our necks out and risked a few days and some money to make a difference in the world of leadership. I made some great new friends through social media in the months leading up to this event and meeting those people face-to-face cemented it for me. I came alive doing the work of helping people make their world better. My heart-rate increases thinking and writing about it.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Over the years, life interrupted my time with Lead Change for a few reasons, and I’m not very involved with the group any more. But I have remembered the feeling of being alive. I come across it from time to time because I speak at a group called Overcoming Job Transition here in Tulsa and I am involved in the Owasso Character Council.
But the main reason why I have backed out of Lead Change is because I believe the way to truly make the world better is by developing followers of Jesus. Leadership gets us part of the way there. And better leadership benefits everyone, even those who choose not to follow Jesus. But when a Jesus-follower applies great leadership qualities, they benefit everyone around them and serve as a witness to Jesus without ever necessarily saying his name.
Many of us who follow Jesus fail to make any difference or we make a negative difference. We all fall short (Romans 3:23). We have more money, time and resources than any group of Jesus-followers in history, but our world, at least the Western-influenced parts of it, is moving away from God. If we actively tried to live our faith every day and if we would apply great leadership principles, our impact might change. The problem is, when it comes to our faith, we don’t model the life of Jesus. It’s much harder to live what He said than it is to simply know, sing about, or argue about what He said and did.
We find if we really follow Jesus and live according to the Bible, we become more humble, and we lead in ways that matter most to the people around us. Most of what passes for great, inspiring leadership was modeled by Jesus anyway.
So in the spirit of taking initiative and rejecting passivity, yesterday, I launched a new community, called Follower Of One. Right now, all we have is a GoFundMe page. I’m working to get a community site launched where individual Christ-followers can help one another grow as leaders and influencers with an eternal purpose. I believe I’m going to be following Jesus forever. I might as well start getting better at it now.
If you’d like to be informed about this, you can comment below, subscribe to this blog, drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or make a donation on the GoFundMe page. Thanks in advance.