In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul wrote: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Earlier in the same letter to the Corinthians Paul called the believers: “I urge you to imitate me” (1 Corinthians 4:16). Similarly, to the church at Thessalonica, Paul wrote that he and his companions “offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate” (2 Thessalonians 3:9). And the author of Hebrews encouraged the believers to “remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrew 13:7).
All of this to say, as a leader you are to live a life worthy of imitation: in prayer, in love, in service, in attitude, in purity, in giving, in the study of God’s Word, in commitment to building the Kingdom of God.
Could you say with Paul to the people in your care: “Follow my example as I follow Christ”? If everyone in your church prayed as much as you, read his or her Bible as much as you, sacrificially gave as much as you, served as much as you; were as friendly to newcomers as much as you, testified of their faith to non believers as much as you—would it be a better, deeper, wider, more dynamic church?
I can hear the resistance now: That’s a lot of pressure. I don’t want my life to be under a microscope. I will mess up and I don’t want others to stumble because of me. Two Words: Horse Hockey! Quit hiding behind a spiritually sounding but wimpish leadership reality that say, “Look to Jesus not to me.” If you are a leader: LEAD! It’s what you do! Are you prefect? No. Will you make mistakes; lose your temper; say something or do something dumb? Yes! Yes! Yes! Still, in our local churches and in our denomination we need leaders who are willing to lead by their example!
Lead in such away that you could tell anyone —imitate my walk with the Lord and follow me as I follow Christ.