Summary: Leaders and followers must work together to be successful. There are many important things that they should be able to expect from each other.
A. Today’s sermon begins a two sermon focus on church leadership.
1. Today’s sermon will focus on the relationship between spiritual leaders and spiritual followers.
2. The second sermon will focus on elders and deacons, and their qualifications and selection.
3. That second sermon will be delivered on the first Sunday of May, and will launch a process for the evaluation of our present leaders and the potential selection of additional elders and deacons.
4. This will be an important and exciting time. We will be calling upon the church to fervently pray for this process and God’s guidance and blessing.
B. Years ago, a father was filling out a college entrance form for his daughter who wanted to attend a prestigious university.
1. One of the questions on the form was, “Is your child a good leader?”
2. Well, in all honesty, the man’s daughter was not a leader, but he knew she probably would not get accepted to the university unless she was a good leader, so he didn’t know what to do.
3. Finally, he decided to just be honest, so he wrote, “My daughter is not a good leader, but she is a very good follower.
4. The father was relieved and surprised when he received this reply from the university: “We are happy to inform you that your daughter has been accepted as an incoming freshman, but we feel that we must forewarn you that she is the only follower among 700 incoming leaders.”
5. Obviously that was not true. I’m sure there was at least one other good follower among all those leaders.
6. What is it about us that makes us afraid to be classified as a “follower”?
7. What’s wrong with being a “good follower” or even a “great follower”?
C. Let me tell you what our lesson for today is in a nutshell…it’s the title of the sermon… “Leaders and Followers are on the Same Team!”
1. Leaders and followers are partners, not competitors or opponents.
2. Leaders and followers will not accomplish very much without each other.
3. By definition you cannot be a leader if you don’t have followers, and you can’t be a follower if you don’t have a leader.
4. Therefore, leaders and followers need each other to be successful.
5. That is true whether you are talking about businesses, or the military, or the church.
6. Consider how this truth is illustrated in football.
a. Who is more important the quarterback (leader) or the lineman (follower) who blocks for him?
b. What happens if they don’t work together and value each other?
D. Ultimately, I believe that followers really want leaders and leaders really want followers, but both groups want good ones.
1. Followers want good leaders, and leaders want good followers.
2. Success is achieved when both groups fill their roles well.
3. So when it comes to the church, both followers and leaders should want the church to grow and be successful.
4. But that will only happen when the church is made up of the right kind of leaders and the right kind of followers.
5. Let’s spend some time today considering what good followers should be able to expect from good leaders, and what good leaders should expect from good followers.
I. What Good Followers Expect From Good Leaders
A. First of all, good followers expect character from their leaders.
1. In the New Testament, we see that God has clearly specified the character qualities necessary for someone to be a good leader.
2. The good leader must be upright, godly and sincere.
3. He must be able to lead and manage his family well and be of good reputation with outsiders.
4. We will talk more specifically about some of these in the second sermon.
5. Why is the character of the leader so important? There are many reasons, but two are primary:
a. First, character is vital because of the challenges that leaders will face.
b. Second, character is vital because of the temptations leaders will face.
6. A leader without character is a danger to himself and to everyone else.
7. Good followers have a right to expect that their leaders will display godly character.
B. Second, good followers expect their leaders to show caring concern.
1. Good followers have a right to expect their leaders will be sensitive and interested in them and their needs.
2. Any leader who is more concerned about himself than he is about those whom he is leading is disqualified from spiritual leadership.
3. Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son, goes down in history as a leader whose big mistake was insensitivity to the needs of his followers.
a. At his inauguration as king, the people approached Rehoboam and said, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” (1 Kings 12:4)