Three weeks in the month of August 2010 changed my life forever. My senior Pastor and his wife went on mission trip to Africa and handed the affairs of the church to me.I was now “in-charge” and as the associate pastor I was given the commission by my Pastor to “take care of the sheep.” They were going to be away initially for two weeks but had to extend their stay for one more week.
It was an honor to assist in that capacity and to be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive about how things would turn out in their absence. Those three weeks ended up being great and I must confess that I learned more about life, balance and leadership in that short period than in my entire life put together.
The dynamics of the responsibility of leading was very fast paced for me as I had to juggle ministry, family life as well as a regular nine to five job. Notwithstanding, the Holy Spirit came through and assisted me tremendously.
One week into my pastor and his wife’s absence, I began to wish they were around to take the burden of leadership back. “Wow, this leadership thing is no joke,” I thought. Every day, I was faced with a new issue/challenge that needed to be addressed or handled as a pastor.
I found out that the role of a Pastor was not only time consuming but also very spiritually and mentally demanding. I had to learn how to deal with people of various temperaments and most of all get into the detailed intricacies of church administration.
During this period, I believed that I was getting schooled in the art of “Leadership”; however the Lord began to lead my focus in another direction. The Lord was leading me to zero in on followership instead and its corresponding role to the success of any organization or dream.
The need to focus on followership was increased after a conversation on the third week of my pastor’s absence with a member of the congregation where it seemed that I expected more initiative from the individual than I was getting. I experienced a paradigm shift and I suddenly realized that the success of any organization or establishment is highly dependent on the symbiotic relationship that should exist between leaders and followers.
Lee Thayer, a leadership consultant and author, writes about this relationship in an online article, here is what he says,
“The leader-follower relationship is a very complex one. To attribute the magic solely to a “leader” misses the point. If the leader needs a follower in order to be a leader, and if the follower needs a leader in order to be a follower, their interdependence can’t be “deconstructed.” The success of either depends upon the relationship. Ask any married couple. Ask any teacher. Ask any loser. Ask the person who provides her own leadership, and who fol- lows her own leadership. The magic is in the compounding, not in the one or the other”
Now thats true talk……
Except from my book ~ Discovering Followership- The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life.