Genuine Leaders Inspire Genuine Followers

I’m often bothered by the fact that we so often miss the beautiful, adventurous, deep life and heart of God in our churches. It often seems that places where you can tell that God truly dwells are the exception rather than the norm. I’ve been wondering how people can be inspired to really go deep into God’s heart and life. This is something that has really been churning in my head for a while now, but I had a bit of an insight while reading the final chapters of the life of Joshua this afternoon.

I don’t want to give a whole summary of the life of Joshua, but Joshua was a man who followed God no matter what, and followed God in a genuine way. No matter what the situation required or how terrifying the situation may have been to those around him, he obeyed God and led others to do the same. After many things had been accomplished by the Israelites, Joshua reminded the Israelites everything they had been through and everything that God had done for them, and he gave them this challenge:

“So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly…as for me and my family we will serve the Lord.”1

Joshua showed people what serving God looked like. He challenged the Israelites to follow God in the same way, even when it took more than they thought they had. And what was the result?

“The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel.”2

The Israelites followed God, and people experienced first-hand what God could do with someone who followed him.

Genuine and honest leaders are the key to inspiring thousands of people to follow God in a deep and meaningful way – a way that makes a difference in the lives of everyone and everything around us. Good leaders show people what God looks like, what following God looks like, and pushes them beyond anything they could have become on their own.

Pursue leadership wherever you are, and be the kind of person that shows people what God looks like. This isn’t just for “spiritual giants” like Joshua, or other people we might know who inspire us. This is for you also.

[1] Joshua 24:14-15; [2] Joshua 24:31