I’m not a leader.
This may come as a surprise to you. After all, I’ve been in front of people for the past 23 years, preaching the gospel, organizing gospel crusades, planting churches, pastoring churches, and so on–in other words, leading people. What, you are probably wondering, have I been doing all this while? And what have I been to the thousands of people throughout these years that have gathered to listen to me, to follow my instructions, and help in my various duties and projects? So, I can understand your surprise.
The fact, however, is that while you may be surprised at this, I’m not surprised at all. Instead, it explains a lot to me: my aversion to socializing; my perennial craving for ‘fellowers’ rather than followers; and most especially, my lack of ‘vision’.
Yes, lack of vision. You see, I have none — that is, in the conventional sense of it. Those of you that have been with me long enough must have heard me repeatedly assert that I have no vision; that my vision is God Himself. I resonate deeply with the following verse from David:
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
~ Psalm 16:8
I highlight the issue of vision here because it cuts to the heart of what defines a leader. A leader is someone with a specific vision of where he or she wants to take people to. I’m not that. First, I don’t have a specific vision of where I want to take anyone to. Secondly, I’m not interested in taking anybody anywhere. If you’ve noticed, regardless of the acts, I’m basically a lone ranger. So, how can I be regarded as a leader when I have neither the vision, nor interest in taking anybody anywhere?
Here are two different scenarios that I hope will clarify my point. In both cases, there is a pool of people in a specific place; and there is a man in their midst with a specific agenda:
In the first scenario, the man has a clear picture of a different place he would rather have the people be; he is convinced that the latter place is superior to where the people are presently situated. He also has the ability and passion to relocate people from the former place to the latter. He moves into this pool, shares his vision, then uses his leadership skills to relocate the people. This man — like Moses, like Joshua, and their likes — is a leader. I don’t see myself here.
In the second scenario, the man has no clear picture of any different place that he would rather have the people be; all he has is a letter containing an important message for the people. He has neither the ability nor passion to relocate the people. How they respond is none of his business. His own is to just deliver the message and move on. This person is not a leader; he is merely a messenger. And this is where I see myself.
I’m merely a messenger; not a leader.
When this awareness hit me, I felt so liberated; as though a heavy weight fell off my shoulders. Just knowing that I’m merely a messenger, and not a leader, has flooded my heart with tremendous joy and moved me further along in enjoying my bliss.
And consequently, I can now devote myself to the understanding of the message I’m sent to deliver, and to communicating it as clearly as I ought to, through the help of the Holy Spirit.
The more I reflect on how light this awareness feels, the more I relate it with the following message:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
~ Hebrews 12:1
A weight might not necessarily be a negative issue. In fact, it could even be something positive: Saul’s weapons on little David; the logistics of burying the father of a certain disciple of Jesus; the necessary preparations Martha needed to make in order to host Jesus — these were all positives. But, with regards to what really mattered in the respective instances, they were weights. As long as it hinders the race, as long as it impedes progress towards your personal and unique ultimate, it is a weight, and should be laid aside.
When you drop a weight, you instantly know: it feels so light, it feels so blissful, and you can move faster.
Now, as you might have suspected from my style, I do not have the slightest desire to convince you as to whether or not I’m a leader. I accept the reality that thousands of people around the world will continue to look up to me as their leader, and relate with me as such in their consciousness. That’s their business. What matters to me right now is how I see myself; the awareness that I’m just a messenger, not a leader.