We all have the capacity to be leaders, whether we realize it or not.
I shrugged off this idea for a long time, but the Holy Spirit’s persistent voice kept saying this to me throughout my younger years:
You are a leader. Yes, you…
Do you believe that about yourself? Why or why not?
I know I didn’t. If I were meant to be some type of leader, I reasoned, then I should have dozens of followers. No followers – no leader. That’s the formula, right?
But all this time, I’ve been confusing popularity with leadership. To influence people (the essence of leadership), I thought one must be well-liked & accepted. Yet NOWHERE does God equate the two in Scripture. In fact, Jesus – the world’s best leader – was murdered by the people He was sent to lead!
I somehow missed that true leadership isn’t a person’s ability to bend to the crowd but their ability to rise above it & lead it in another direction, even in the face of opposition. This is what Jesus did, and that is why He still influences people today. What a portrait of a true leader!
Many of the “coolest” people I know – those on the cultural cutting-edge – seldom lead anyone anywhere. At best, they puppet the world around them. That isn’t leadership; that’s the path of least resistance.
Can they be counted on to deliver not-so-popular news, or introduce new ideas that may upset the status quo? Nope. Such people have their pulse firmly on the world’s wrist, but are unwilling to do anything to change it.
Contrast that with Jesus. He was a leader willing to go against the grain, to say or do what was completely genuine to Him – things that were possibly even unpopular – for a cause beyond Himself.
Leaders risk their social status NOT for themselves, but for a higher purpose:
They aren’t trying to be difficult or different – they’re just seeking to make a difference. And they recognize that to make a difference, one must sometimes BE different!
They aren’t chasing fame & applause (which doesn’t last anyway) but truth & love & the One who made both.
They don’t just surround themselves with the “in crowd”. They see people for who they are, not through the lens of social status, and are willing to invest in those who are overlooked.
They encourage the best in others (and tend to bring it out).
They’re simply real & honest. Unhindered by popular opinion. Willing to speak out against things that should be opposed… for the sake of showing people a better way.
True leaders stand for something greater than themselves, and they do so even if it costs them. In fact, that’s when leaders shine most: When no one else is willing to say or do what needs to be said & done.
So let this truth settle in your heart today: You CAN be both a leader & “uncool”. In fact, it’s highly likely you’re a curious blend of both And that’s precisely why God chose you & I to lead.