You Can’t Be A Leader Without Followers

Last week Mission Aviation Fellowship observed its Worldwide Day of Prayer. It’s a day when the entire MAF world pauses to lift up the people, places, and partners that we serve around the world.

The theme of the day was Followership and I’ve been pondering that topic. One hears so much about what it takes to be a good leader, but the role of the follower is just as critical. After all, we all follow someone.

In a ministry like MAF, we are all followers of Christ, hearing His voice and seeking His guidance as His disciples have been doing for two millennium. Likewise, in our professional roles we are all accountable to someone. As CEO I must report to the MAF board of directors and follow their guidance.

The most effective employees of any organization are those who can be both a leader and a follower. Since most of us start our professional careers at the bottom of the ladder, the willingness to be a follower is essential. A successful follower is one who understands the vision of the organization and its leaders, and provides willing support. But effective followers don’t follow blindly: they assess situations critically and respond appropriately without the constant need for supervision and direction.

Without followers, there is no leader … there is just one person with a goal or idea. When supportive followers come alongside, things happen––ideas take off, movements come into being, and messages spread.

That’s how the Lord took the Gospel from the small area of Palestine to the far corners of the world. Let’s give thanks for faithful followers!

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