Followership is not Fanaticism! Followership is the capacity to follow a leader. Fanaticism on the other is marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. But followership, on the other hand; means commitment to leadership. It means finding a leader and then devoting to them. Followership is not just being around a leader, it is commitment to that leader. You can hang around people and not learn anything from them. But you can’t be committed to someone and not learn from that person. Commitment has to do with focus. Your gaze is on that leader. You observe carefully and meticulously why he does what he do.
Some Foundational Scriptures on Followership
1 Corinthians 4:16: “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” You know, people have this idea that you don’t follow anyone, you only follow Christ. It is not a complete truth. Apostle Paul beseeched these believers at Corinth to follow him. Now, if there was nothing to gain, he would not have said that. Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 19:27-30, “we have abandoned all, and we have followed you, what shall be our gain?”And Jesus replied by saying: “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” So, if there was nothing to gain, Jesus won’t ask them to follow him.
So, the whole idea that I follow God alone, I don’t follow any man isn’t Scriptural. Jesus is ingrained in people who have followed Him all the days of their lives, and then we can see Jesus in those people, and because of that, we follow.
1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” You see, there are people who are passionately following Christ, we can take them for examples. Philippians 3:17: Paul said “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6, he said to the Thessalonians that “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit.” Hebrews 6:12 says: “That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (KJV). Hebrews 13:7 also says: “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (KJV). So, followership is Scriptural and it is founded on God’s word.
Basic Constituent of Followership
1) It entails wilful response to Spiritual leadership or Godly leadership. You have to choose to do it, and you have to do it willingly. Matthew 19:16-22 succinctly explains this to us.
2) You have to do it with excitement: Joyful
3) You have to do it purposefully: It means doing it for the just and right reasons. (2Kings 2:1-2, 4, 6, 9-15)
4) You have to out rightly devote yourself to the leader. Let us see what John said in John 6:67-68.
5) Your leaders agenda is your only personal agenda
Listen to podcast: Understanding Followership In Spiritual Leadership And Spiritual Growth
Significance of Followership
Two major things can be gained from dutifully following a Godly Leader or following spiritual leadership. Number on, there is the “Making in Followership”, and number two; “Spiritual growth” is by followership. Nobody can be made without followership. Matthew 4:18-19: says: “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
The making is in the followership. Notice Jesus didn’t say come and tag along, and I will make you fishers of men. The instruction is “Follow me, and I will make you.” The making is in followership. In following a leader, the instruction must be clear. You must know “the why” of your following that particular leader. We are in a generation where there is a huge gap between knowledge and experience, and it is in followership that knowledge is converted into experience. So, you cannot be made without followership.
What to do to follow correctly
1). The first way to follow is to recognise a leader. You don’t follow a system, you follow a person. Anywhere you get to, recognise the leader in such a place and follow him or her. If you follow a look-alike of the leader, you will miss your making. Until you recognise the leader, don’t follow. Then you must also know as well, who God has instructed you to follow.
2). Emulate the leader. 2 Timothy 3:10-11 says: “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Icomium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all, the Lord delivered me.”Note what Apostle Paul said to Timothy, he said “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life,” That is what you should emulate. Ephesians 5:1 says: “Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
3). Your heart must be where your leader is. In John 12:26, Jesus said: “If anyone serves me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honour.” That tells you that any service that is not rooted in followership is not service. Gehazi was servant to Elisha, but can we really say that his heart was with Elisha at some point?
4). Recognise the heart of your leader; his values, his purpose, why he does what he does. Study your leader to the point that you recognise his heart. If you have not caught the heart of your leader, then you have not caught him yet.
I believe you have been blessed!
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]