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Hi my name is Dave Weiss and I am a leader. If you're reading this, chances are you are too. As a matter of fact, almost everyone leads someone and in that case, the vast majority of us are leaders. You'll see why this is important in a minute.
Yesterday I got a notice from Facebook, telling me I have been a member for 10 years. A decade on Facebook, what are the odds? Well the odds go down every election year and they are really slim this year. Were it not for the fact that I stay in contact with a lot of people for the sake of this ministry on Facebook, I might have been gone. It's not that I'm a huge Trump supporter. I'm not. It's just that I'm a leader.
My main leadership role is my pastorate at Springfield Church of the Brethren. We have a membership that is probably between 80 and 100 people, give or take, and regular attendance of about 50-55. That is a fairly small group and while I know I am loved, and the people there are all extremely kind and gracious to me, I'm not foolish enough to believe that I can please all of them all of the time. Now let's multiply that exponentially and talk about the president, congress, etc. They lead millions. The U.S. population is over 300 million people. The odds of pleasing all of us simultaneously are slim to none. With social media we see the ugliness of this like no other generation has seen. The bashing I see there is virtually inexcusable. People seem to think they have all the answers and they seem to feel like we would be in some sort of Panacea, had the other person won. I doubt this is true but this is not a post about politics, it's a post about leadership.
Leadership is hard, largely because there are no easy answers and many people don't want to be led. No leader can please everyone. We Christians know this because we see what happened to the only perfect, all-knowing leader who ever walked the earth. There is something else we need to remember. Jesus, who pleased very few as He walked the earth, walked right down the center of the will of God. Because of this, He is a righteous leader and we must do the same. In my study of the book of Acts this is made apparent. Peter and John healed a man in the presence of many and got locked up for it. The Sanhedrin (think the ancient Hebrew Supreme Court) is in a pickle. They can't deny the miracle has been done and yet to accept the miracle would be to acknowledge that they (the religious leaders of the people) had a part in killing the Messiah. Their solution is to order Peter and John to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. Peter's reply is epic. "Which is right to obey God or obey you?" Catching the irony in that statement is crucial. Should we obey God or the leaders, because we can't do both? In other words one is wrong. It's either God of the leadership, and it can't be God. The leaders of the people are not following God. Therein is what it all comes down to.
If you can't please everybody, and you almost never can, please God! This may or may not make you popular, but you will always be headed in the right direction. You are a leader. Speak the truth in love. Love the people you lead and follow God whether it's popular or not. In the end this is what's right.
Remember, you're only a leader if someone is following you and if someone is following you, you're responsible for where you lead them. Lead them where God wants to go. That's real leadership.