FOLLOWERSHIP AND SACRIFICE

You cannot separate effective followership from sacrifice. If you follow effectively, there will be moments where you will be required to sacrifice something for the person, ideal or vision you are following. There is an interesting story in the scriptures about King David that encapsulates this thought. It goes like this:

David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But, he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the LORD. “God forbid that I should do this!” he  said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it. (2 Samuel 23:15-17)

I get chills reading this story!  These men were willing to put their lives at risk for the sake of their leader. Though in modern society, these attributes are not often exalted, followers who have this characteristic will go far in life. Jesus Christ also sacrificed his life for the sake of the Father’s cause.  He willingly gave up His life.

Followership involves a lot of sacrifices.  Those that will taste the fruits of followership will have to drink from the cup of sacrifice.There is no way around it, what you are willing to sacrifice will determine your success as a follower.

I have seen this characteristic in my pastor who sacrifices his time, money and effort just so that he can connect to a mentor or leader that he is following.  I see him grow exponentially from those things for which he sacrifices.

The preacher and motivational speaker Mike Murdock said that “the evidence of desire is pursuit.” How far are you willing to go? Jesus’ disciples said to Him

 “We have left all we had to follow you. ” Luke 18:28

In other words, they had sacrificed all; they had left career, house, and family to follow the Master. The good thing is that such sacrifices are always rewarded. Though the sacrifices of your money, time, and flesh are not easy, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.

Except from the book Discovering Followership by Omokhai Imoukhuede

Decision for today: Lord help me to put others first. I will be more engaged as I an sacrificial as I follow you.

Question for today: In what areas of my life can I be more sacrificial?

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Nothing Wrong In Being A Guru

One of the most important things an entrepreneur should constantly embrace  is acquiring knowledge.  It is actually the difference between a successful entrepreneur and  an unsuccessful one.  If you are going to advance your business or organization to the next level, an excise in constantly informing yourself in your area of specialty is necessary.

When I use the word “knowledge,” I mean getting helpful insights and tips on the products/services you are offerings as well as insights on how to improve your process in connecting this with your client base.

You know, there is nothing as frustrating as for a client to engage with an uninformed entrepreneur. You will lose business often and quickly if your clients senses that you really don’t have any idea on what you are actually offering.

The bible says “My people perish for lack of knowledge[Hosea 4:6] ” and your business or organization will not advance if you as the leader or entrepreneur don’t have adequate knowledge in that field.

I believe that every entrepreneur should aspire to be an expert or  guru in their field. It doesn’t mean you have to know everything, what I mean is that, you need to know enough about what you are offering and communicate it clearly to your clients.

It also means that you know extensively what your target market loves. This is so important because if you are ignorant about these fundamentals, your clients will not be convinced that you can solve their problems.

As an entrepreneur myself, I have made many mistakes in this area and one thing I have noticed is that clients who are aware of your expertise in an area seldom argue with your suggestions to them.

This is so because any one that has risen from the level of just regurgitating the specifications of the clients to actually adding value to their request always gets the ears of their clients.

The first level of just “re-producing” what the clients wants is ok and common when you are just starting. In fact some clients just want you to give them what they want. However, we you are a “Guru or Expert” in that field, your clients will pay you extra to get your opinion on the their request.  They come to you  as a consultant to get your recommendations. This usually occurs when clients can see the positive results of your work  and  can sense your knowledge in that field.

Knowledge always yields results, ignorance never yields results. Proverbs 15:4 says ” The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly” That says it all.

So if we want to take our business or organization to the next level, let’s get knowledge in that area. Regardless of your field, get information on it, join organizations that speak to what you are doing, find mentors, read books and seek  out things that can help feed you with knowledge.

So there is nothing wrong with being a “Guru” as long as you are willing to being a life-long student. So “Take it to the top.” Happy Sunday.

Decision for today: I will seek out knowledge in my field of business. I commit to discovering tips for success.

Question for today: In what area do I need to increase in knowledge, what mentor or material can I connect with to take me to the next level.

Be on the look out for my new E-Book ” The Anatomy Of A Successful Business.”

God bless,

Followership and Influence

Jesus Christ spent a great portion of His ministry raising followers because He understood the power of followership and the influence His followers would have.  He realized that in the short period of time he had to be on earth, He would not be able to reach the entire world.

So, He raised a group of “followers” who would follow after His departure, to influence the world.  Jesus understood that if he developed mature followers, His followers would have the ability to expand on the foundations He laid.

 That is why Christ said,

“Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [John 14:12]

Greater works are reserved for those who believe and follow Him.  For example, Joshua entered the Promised Land while Moses did not.  David killed Goliath and reigned successfully over Israel. Solomon built the temple of God, David did not.  Elisha had a double portion of Elijah’s anointing.  The disciples were able to preach to more cities and reach more people geographically than Jesus did while he was on earth.

Another time, Jesus says to his disciples,

“But you  will receive  power when the  Holy  Spirit comes on  you; and  you will  be  my  witnesses in  Jerusalem,  and  in  all  Judea and Samaria, and  to the  ends of the  earth. “[Acts 1:8]

As a result, the act of followership on the part of these one hundred and twenty followers of Christ resulted in the gospel spreading beyond the Jewish nation into other parts of the world.  This great triumph is the result of a bunch of men and women deciding to follow the words of Christ even when it put their lives at risk.

If we are going to work in supernatural influence in our world—if we are going to be a compelling force like the apostles of old—then we need to revisit followership. We need to become completely sold out to God’s ways. This means we need to make following God and knowing Him intimately our priority.

The secret of great influence for the kingdom is in following the greatest “influencer,” God Himself. Once you submit to God’s influence, you will do exploits for Him.

“And such as violate the covenant he shall pervert and  seduce  with flatteries,  but  the  people  who know their God shall  prove  themselves  strong and  shall  stand firm and do exploits [for  God].” [Daniel 11:32]

~Except from Chapter 9 of my book Discovering Followership

Who Has Your Ears

“Toward anything like thorough scholarship I make no claim. I am not an authority on any man’s teaching; I have never tried to be. I take my help where I find it and set my heart to graze where the pastures are greenest. Only one stipulation do I make: my teacher must know God, as Carlyle said, “otherwise than by hearsay,” and Christ must be all in all to him.”  A.W Tozer.

When I read this quote, I immediately identified with the message the writer was trying to convey. In my book Discovering Followership (Learn the Secrets of Walking Behind and still Staying Ahead), I mentioned that whoever you follow determines your end destination or final outcome.

This principle suggests that every one of us is following what social scientists call the “Invisible Leader.” You know, that thought, dream, person or idea that influences the basis of every decision we make whether we realize or not.

Regardless of this, whoever you are following or listening to, must be vetted before you act on what they are saying. Heb 13:7 says  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” 

Before you execute the advice of those “invisible leaders” in your life, take some time to check/consider the outcome or results of the lifestyle, plan or idea you are observing or about to make. We are to imitate those whose lives, ideas or plans have its roots in God and no one else.

1 Kings 12 tells a sad story in the bible about how the Kingdom of Israel got divided. Solomon the wisest King that ever lived had just died and his son Rehoboam was now in power. At the initial stage of his reign, there was a lot of goodwill towards him by his subjects.

However, things quickly turned sour when failed to listen to the older advisers who urged him to  lessen the load inflicted on his subjects by his father Solomon. Instead, Rehoboam listened and followed the advice of his younger colleagues who lacked experience, respect for others and most of all a clear relationship with God.

The result of his decision to “follow” their advice, led to the civil war which divided the kingdom of Israel. What a shame as this only confirms that whoever has your ears, has your life and whoever has your life, can decide how or where it will end.

No matter, how enticing an idea, person, dream, speech or concept is, we must first consider its outcome and final effect so that like the writer A.W Tozer, we can follow those who follow the “Invincible” leader who is God. So who are you listening to? who has your ears? have they been vetted by the Word?

Consider your influences today and verify whether they come from God or not.

Discover Your Purpose By Following

The  best  is he who  calls men to the best, And  those who heed the  call  are  also  blessed, But  worthless who  call  not, heednot, but rest.

—        Hesiod

Your purpose in life is always linked to that of another. You can never fulfill or discover your true identity or purpose in isolation. Followership ignites the process of discovering where we fit in the grand scheme of things. In fact, followership will prepare you for what you have been called to do in the future. If you are sensitive to the process, you will begin to have an inclination of your true identity and purpose in life as you engage in true followership.

There is an interesting story in the scriptures about a young lady called Ruth. She was the daughter in-law of a woman called Naomi. As the  story  goes, Noami was  widowed and  had  lost two  of her  sons that  were married to Moabite women, one of whom was  Ruth. Since she had no more sons to marry them to, Naomi urged her two childless daughter in-laws to return to their land. Naomi planned to return to her home town of Judah. Orpah the other daughter in-law kissed Naomi goodbye and left. But, the scripture says this about Ruth:

“But Ruth replied, don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. “ [Ruth 1:16-17]

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her to go. Ruth exhibited followership when it came to her mother in-law Naomi. She yielded her will and emphatically refused to be separated from her mother in-law. As a result of this decision, Ruth went on to follow Naomi back to Judah and subsequently marry Boaz, Naomi’s wealthy relative. The result of the union between Boaz and Ruth was a son by the name of Obed.

Obed became the grandfather of King David of Israel.  Ruth’s decision to follow shows that when we follow correctly, we become divinely positioned to live out our purpose, discover our gifts and talents, while reaping an abundance of blessings.

When Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” he made this statement to a group of disciples, most of whom were uneducated fishermen. They were good at this profession, but upon following Christ they discovered their true identity as apostles to various parts of the world.  Similarly, Paul the apostle who thought his purpose was to uproot Christianity found his true identity once he began to follow Christ.  Paul realized his purpose was to preach salvation to the non-Jews, or Gentiles. In keeping with this calling, Paul went on to write two-thirds of the books of the New Testament.

[Except from Discovering Followership: Learn The Secrets Of Walking Behind And Staying Ahead.]  So who are you following today? Let me know what you think about this.

Click Here to get a copy of the book.

Learning Followership From The Master

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
      Jesus Christ

When we  look for the  epitome of  leadership, I think it  is  safe  to  say  that  our  Lord Jesus Christ fits  the  bill.  He alone in three years raised a bunch of unlearned fishermen to become the pillars of the Christian faith. He was able to take these men who were filled with fear and doubt to great heights spiritually.  From  these  men, the  message of  God’s saving grace was  preached to  the  entire world. The world is still fascinated by Christ and His influence over many more than two thousand years after his earthly walk. While it is so obvious that our Lord Jesus possesses great leadership skills from which we can learn, we can also see that He was also a great follower.

At first, this may sound heretical but upon close examination, it is accurate.  Jesus’ life style on earth showed His willingness to obey and follow God’s lead in everything that He did.

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and  tears to the one who could save  him  from death, and  he was  heard because of  his  reverent  submission. Son though he was,  he  learned  obedience from what he  suffered and, once made perfect, he became the  source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.[Heb 5:7-9]

Jesus was reverently submissive to the Father, even though He was the first begotten Son. We can see that it was this characteristic that endeared him to the Father. The scriptures say that Christ learned obedience or followership from what He suffered.  He did not exempt himself from any of the requirements of the Law. He did not say, “I am God, so the law of followership doesn’t apply to me.”  He  went through every  step, following and  fulfilling  the  requirements  of  the  law  as  a true follower  of God the Father.

We see Jesus’ followership when He went to John for his baptism.   Even though John sought to bypass this act given Christ’s higher status, Jesus Christ insisted that scriptures needed to be fulfilled and submitted Himself for baptism. This would prompt a strong declaration of affirmation of the validity of Jesus’ place with God.

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. [Luke 3:21-22]

God was pleased because Christ refused to take shortcuts; He refused to by-pass the process. Christ willingly gave Himself to followership, completely following the plans of the Father. Christ exemplifies this in the statement he made about God.

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.[John 5:19]

Throughout His earthly journey (33 years), Christ’s preoccupation was to follow the commands and dictates of the Father without compromise. Christ was committed to only doing what He saw His Father do. If Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior practiced followership throughout the three years he was with His disciples and emphasized it so many times, shouldn’t we as followers of Christ, “follow” in His steps?

 [Excerpt from the book Discovering Followership: Learn The Secrets of Walking Behind and Still Staying Ahead by Omokhai Imoukhuede]

Curious to know your thoughts on followership and why it is not really discussed

WHATEVER YOU FOLLOW WILL DETERMINE YOUR DESTINATION

A foundational truth of followership is that whatever you follow will determine your destination. This means whatever, or whoever, you follow spiritually, mentally and physically will determine where you end up in these three areas. Evil communication corrupts good manners. Our state of mind is determined by what we expose our mental faculties to.

Whatever you follow actively with your mind, will influence your decisions and ultimately determine who you become. There are many stories of people who committed suicide or other violent acts because they focused their minds on books, music, internet resources etc that promoted these acts. Also, when people “follow” pornographic material, it warps their view of sex, increasing their tolerance and acceptance of ungodly sexual expression.

These people usually end up engaging in pornographic acts. Scripture tells us:

 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. [3]

 This means, just as there are consequences for filling your mind with negative material, there are consequences for surrounding yourself with the wrong people.  The crowd you surround yourself with will often determine where you end up in life. 

Now thats true talk…

~~~ Except from the book “Discovering Followership.”