This coming Sunday we as a church will celebrate Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the Church Year. Also called the Reign of Christ Sunday, this day concludes our annual worship journey that tells the story of Jesus. This Sunday bridges one worship year with another as next week—the first week of Advent—begins a new worship year of expectation and hope. As we navigate Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, each helps the church tell Jesus’ story. For Christians, Jesus is our leader and as such, asks us to be leaders as well. We may not have kings anymore but as long as human communities exist, we will always have leaders.
We each have a degree of influence with other people—sometimes in the family, classroom, or neighborhood. Yet, not everyone knows how to employ influence. Thus, the better we understand our God-given influence, then the better we can use it for good. To be a leader, disciple, or follower of Jesus is to employ our influence to further the aims revealed in God’s realm or kingdom. This realm signifies for Jesus God’s intention for creation.
So, the better we understand our leadership influence, the better we understand the why and how of our leadership gift. Disciples are, in fact, stewards of the leadership talents that God has entrusted to us. When God endows a disciple as a leader with spiritual influence, then God expects such persons to use them to build up the realm of God.
Every person has a gift (or gifts) to offer God’s Realm. The chief task of leadership is to aid members of Christ’s church to identify their talents, nurture these talents, and then set these disciples loose on the world. If this can be done in systematic ways, the gifts that our local church can offer our community and the world would be indescribable.
“Follow the Leader” simply means to follow Jesus, become a leader, and let Jesus model that leadership for all of us.