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The Thin Line Between Leadership and Discipleship
Stats: 18,884 words / Reading Time: 94.42 mins

Published: Thursday, 3rd June 2021

By: Gboyega ADEDEJI

The Thin Line Between Leadership and Discipleship is read 963 times on CentreNDL.org 963
  

THE THIN LINE BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND DISCIPLESHIP

How to Become a Leader Through Dedicated Followership


Listen To Podcast: The Thin Line Between Leadership And Discipleship

In this article, I want to share with us what has been titled: The Thin Line Between Leadership and Discipleship, notice the word thin and not a thick line. So, there is a thin line between leadership and discipleship. So, we are going to be looking at a Scripture to justify what we will be sharing with ourselves. But before we look at the text, let me just explain the two major words that are in this title that is the focus of our consideration tonight. The first one is leadership, and the second one is discipleship.

So, let's start from leadership. What exactly is leadership? When you hear the word leadership, what exactly comes to your mind? You see, leadership talks about the power or ability to lead other people. Leadership talks about the power, or the ability to lead other people. And so, when you look at leadership in this manner, it means that at the forefront of leading is a man or a woman that is called a leader. So, who is a leader? A leader is someone who takes charge or responsibilities for a particular assignment or task to be done. So, when you look at leadership, it talks about something to be done, it talks about, you know a task to be accomplished. And that task will not accomplish itself, that assignment will not carry out itself.

You know, when Jesus was about living, He said to His disciples, go therefore, and make disciples of all nations. If it was possible for that assignment to be done spiritually, so to say like, it will not require the effort of anyone, Jesus wouldn't have commissioned His disciples. So, when we talk about leadership, the first thing that comes to your mind is that there is a task, there is an assignment, there is a goal ahead, or something we are looking at. And that thing we are looking at or that goal, we are aiming at, we are not just going to sleep and wake up and see ourselves there. There must be a man or a woman who has been commissioned, who has been given the ability and the wherewithal to make sure that all of us, we reach that goal.

So that is what leadership talks about. And when we talk about a leader, we are talking about that man, or that woman who has been saddled with that responsibility of making that goal or vision, a reality. So, at the earth of every purpose of God, or assignment of God, is a man or a woman who will see to the point that that goal or purpose is fulfilled, or is established. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. There are men and women, that God has positioned, that He has called and commissioned, who would see to the fulfillment of the will of God being done on earth. If that responsibility will be done by the angels, then there will not be need for you and I. If angels were to disciple nations, there will not be need for you and I.

So, for God to have commissioned us and called us into this assignment, it is a leadership assignment. It is a leadership task. He says take charge, go into all the nations and make disciples of all nations. Now there is something I want to show us in Isaiah chapter six, verse eight, still talking about leadership. Now in Isaiah chapter six, verse eight, Isaiah said, I heard the voice of the Lord saying…” Now, this has always been the heart-cry of God, the Father, and Isaiah was able to capture it when he was documenting this prophecy. It says: I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send? When God was talking about this, there were angels, innumerable number of angels around Him. He was not lacking in any when it comes to sending angels on errand.

But Isaiah said he had the Lord saying, whom shall I send? And who will go for us? Then Isaiah said he responded, here am I, send me. So, what can we pick from mhere? Isaiah said, I heard the heart-cry of the Lord, the same way you and I, we've heard something the same way you and I, we've surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and then, we heard our calling, we heard about what God wants to do on earth. And then we said, Lord, I am available send me. In other words, we are saying, God, this responsibility, you can put it on me, this responsibility, this task, you can make me one of the people that you will put in charge. So, Isaiah said he did not allow the voice of God to slide down and pretend like or as if he did not hear. It says: I said, here I am, send me!

So, Isaiah undertook that assignment. So, when we're talking about leadership, it means there is a grand agenda. Most of the time this agenda is bigger than us, most of the time this goal is not something we can accomplish by ourself. It requires an ability, and that is why we have the Holy Spirit. He is our supernatural ability to lead in the capacity that God wants us to lead. Now let's leave leadership.

What is discipleship? You see, a disciple is a dedicated follower of a leader. Now there is a sequence here and I want to point it out to us. You see, the best leaders are leaders that have a leader over them. Do we understand? If you want to be the best leader, if you want to succeed in your assignment as a leader, it means that you yourself must have a leader that is leading you. Now in this context, the leader over you is God because God is the one who has commissioned you, who has called you into the assignment that you are doing. So, God is your leader. Never you assume that God is just a god, a deity up there who is doing nothing.

God is supervising you and I, each one of us, in order to see to the execution of His will. So, if you are going to succeed as a leader, the first understanding you must have is that you submit to the leadership of God over your life. Now, a disciple is a dedicated follower of a leader. Now that tells you that if you are going to be an effective disciple, now listen to this. If you are going to be an effective disciple, it means you must follow dedicatedly. As a matter of fact, you can’t call yourself a disciple if you are not following. Now look at it, that best followers end up becoming the best leaders. You can never see a leader who is succeeding, and at one point or the other as never followed, or he himself, is not following. So, the link between leadership and discipleship is this: That number one, you as the leader, you have a leader over your head, which in this context is God, and you as a disciple, a dedicated follower of a leader, would end up becoming an effective leader. Now, why will you become an effective leader because you have dedicatedly followed.

Now let's go to our text and let us see an example or a case study. John 21, we are going to read a number of verses there to see what I'm trying to explain to us in passing. John 21 from verse 1. The Bible says:

After these things, Jesus showed himself again, to the disciples are the Sea of Tiberias... You see, this Sea of Tiberias, you know, was the same place where Jesus fed 5000 men in John chapter six. So, the Bible says Jesus showed up to His disciples again, in this place. After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way, He showed Himself…” So, there is a way that Jesus showed Himself at this point in time. Now, don't forget, Jesus had died, He had been buried, and He had resurrected in this place. This was the period of 40 days that He was on earth, you know, before His final ascension. If you read further in this chapter, you will discover that this was the third time that Jesus was appearing to His disciples after His resurrection.

Let us read further: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” Now, if this had been the end of what Peter said, maybe there would not have been any reason to raise any eyebrow. But look at what followed afterwards: They said to him, “We are going with you also.” It was Peter who suggested that he was going fishing, it was his personal decision. But others said to him: we are going with you also. Now what does that tell us? Peter is a leader. What makes you a leader? When you do things, and people are willing to follow or do same, then that that makes you a leader.

You are doing things and there are people behind you who are saying, well, exactly your step is what we will take, what you tell us to do is what we will do, how you want us to do it is how we will do it, then that makes you a leader over those people. This was exactly what happened. You know, nobody needed to announce Peter, so to say, on national television, that is he the leader of the disciples, Jesus didn't have to do that. But if you look at the event, and certain things that happened when Jesus was with them on earth, you will know that Peter was naturally the leader. But this will buttress it. It says: “they said to him…” he did not coerce them, “we are going with you also.” The Bible says further: They went out and [a]immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

You know, while I was meditating on this, I was just thinking about it. Why will Peter say he is going fishing? Of all the impartation that he had received from Christ Jesus, of all the things that Jesus had said to him physically. As a matter of fact, when Jesus called them, Jesus didn't call them to continue fishing. Jesus called them and told them immediately, now you will fish for men. But immediately Jesus left Peter, the same man who had betrayed Christ before now said: I am going fishing. In other words, I am going back to my business. And that decision he made was not just for himself, that decision had influence on others. And so, all of them, the Bible says, they left and then they went fishing.

Let's go to verse four: But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” Now, I was thinking, why would Jesus call full grown men, married men, children? It was not a compliment. Now while I was thinking about that, look at what came to me. Now, if you look at certain characteristics of children, number one, they can easily change their minds. This is so common with children. For example, you beat a child right now for something that is wrong. And the child cried so much. And the next few minutes, he or she is coming back to play with you. So, what happened in that instance, he or she has forgotten that you beat him or her some few minutes ago.

In other words, there is no memory of certain things in children. They just do what they want to do and move on. So, Jesus called them children. Why? Because it seems they have forgotten so fast the things they said they will do. It was not a compliment. And I believe it was bot an abuse, it was just the word that befitted that circumstance. For example, a child would cry and say, Daddy, this particular toy is what I want to play with. And then you are refusing to give the child and the child will continue to cry and cry and cry. And then you hand them the toys for you to look back and see in the next few seconds they dropped the toy and went to do another thing. That's how children behave.

Did we see that? So, Jesus said, children, not men, not disciples, not brethren, children, have you any food? So, when we are not doing the things that God has committed into our hands, we are children. Even though it looks so simple, what it means is that is that you are forgetting so soon. Look at what they say. They answered him, all of them and said: there is no food. And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So, they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Now, they had toiled all night. You see, when you are not found in the place of your business, you will struggle. When you are not found doing the things that God has committed into your hands to do, you will struggle because this exactly was not what Christ called them to. So, they struggled all night. They didn't catch any fish because they were supposed to be catching men, not fish. And so, they struggled on it.

Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” This man that is speaking to us is not an ordinary man, he is not one of our neighbourhood friends, it is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. Why? He was the only one that plunged into the sea. Why? Because he was disappointing Christ the second time. This was the same Peter that Christ had restored. He said I had prayed for you when you return strengthen your brethren. The first time he betrayed Christ was when he lied that he didn't know Him. So, he was so ashamed of himself that I am betraying this man for the second time, so he could not stand Christ. So, he plunged into the sea, like, let me first of all disappear, and then reappear. So, he plunged into the sea.

But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. In other words, what you people are struggling for, the provision has been made. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things that you are running after, all these things that you think are taking your time, it says they already provided. they are looking for fish to eat, but a table had been made even at the shore. Are we following on?

Why not focus on the assignment? Why not focus on your goal, the goal that God had set before you rather than struggle. It says: Do not struggle. God is telling us I have called you a disciple and a discipler for one thing: preach to nations. And let me struggle for the things you ordinary would’ve struggled for. So, he says: seek first the kingdom, let kingdom be our focus and I will supply. That passage says: they saw a fire of coal on the shore, and fish laid on it, and bread. Maybe a bread seller had been in that place. But no, Jesus is the bread of life. He had provided fish, and bread was there.

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” In other words, you toiled all night that peradventure when you see a couple of fishes to catch, you will sell them and then you will have food to eat. But Jesus said: see, come and eat. The provision had been made.

Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had eaten breakfast…” They had eaten and are full now. Now, you know, there are certain conversations that won't enter your ear if you are hungry, you know, the Yoruba people would say: you cannot be hungry and then another thing we enter your ear. The first thing you want to satisfy is your hunger, and afterwards, you would say: please let's come and talk now.

So, Jesus allowed them to eat, He fed them with bread and fish. So, when they had eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon… Now, notice James and John was in that gathering. Nathaniel, Thomas, all of them were present, but look at who Jesus turned to: leadership. When there is a problem in any setting, the leader is always called to answer. I think it was Maxwell that said: everything rises and falls on leadership. If there is a problem in your assignment, you see, God will not face the followers, God will point to you. If there is trouble in your marriage, God will look at the leader.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of [b]Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” do you love me more than the business? Do you love me more than any other thing? Now, in our own context, it may not be fishing business, it may not be anything close to what the disciples were doing. But God is asking you: do you love me more than what you think can help you? As a matter of fact, can we even fend for ourselves more than God who created us? Can you take care of yourself more than God would? So, whatever it is you think has been your preoccupation, that has been pushing you away, farther away from your assignment; God is asking you tonight Do you love me more than this? Do you love me more than evangelism? Do you love me more than winning souls?

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” Because it is about them. This is why I have raised you; this is why I have called you. It is about my lamb. It is about my sheep. It is about the people that I'm leaving behind for you people to disciple.

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, you know all things; You know that I love You.” Peter responded: Lord you know all things, you know my heart. Even though we have agreed to fish for men, but you disappeared so soon. It is not as if I have forgotten the assignment, but you know my heart. Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”

In other words, Jesus was telling them: you have the time to do it right now. What exactly has preoccupied you so far? What exactly has been hindering you from fulfilling the assignment of God on your life? Jesus said to him to focus on the assignment that He has given to him. Focus on the work that is at hand, don’t be distracted. The Bible says if your eye is single then your whole body will be full of light. There is so much distraction in the world and it is taking us away from the things that God has committed into our hands. As a disciple and discipler, this is a wakeup call for us. It is time to focus once again.

So, God has an assignment on earth. God wants a job to be done. And so, He calls a man, He calls a woman. So, he calls, He sends. And haven been called and sent, you become a leader. And your responsibility is to make disciples of all nation. And look at it, the first thing he does is that he calls you. That is a process that marks the beginning of your own discipleship. Hitherto, you have been living your life as an average believer, an average Christian. You've been living your life; you've been having fun. You've been thinking you are just like every other person. But suddenly, He calls you. So, there is a sense of God awareness. God, being aware of you and you being aware of God, so you are God conscious.

You know you can't do just everything. The things everyone is involved in, does not have to become your own practice. You have God this time around, you are not among those without God in this world. You have a hope, there is an expectation of God hanging on your life. And so, that begins a process of discipleship for you. You walk with God, you walk with vessels that God has instituted for you in order to become an effective disciple. But the goal is not that you should just become a disciple, the goal is that you should become a discipler, you become a leader.

Because the ultimate responsibility is that you make disciples, but you cannot make disciples if you are not a disciple. And so, you must be subjected to a process that makes you, Jesus said follow me and I will make you. It takes time. And haven began following Jesus, you can then have the privilege to have certain men, certain people following you. Apostle Paul said something in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he said imitate me as I imitate Christ. And so, I follow Christ, you follow me. And so, my leadership, therefore becomes the foundation for my discipleship. I am discipling to the degree of my following of Christ. And so, as I follow Christ, I'm followed. If I have a problem following Christ, men will have problem following me except they want to follow a man and not Christ. And so, it's important we understand that even though we are finding the thin line, they are connected together.

There is discipleship in leadership, there is leadership in discipleship. You know, we said a disciple is one who follows a leader. So, a leader is one who is a leader, somebody follows him or other people following him. And so that's it. Now going back to where we were coming from John 21 from verse 10.

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Before this time the disciples had toiled, they have done so much. But the Bible says they caught nothing. Meaning that they have labored but they had little or nothing to show for it. They have been in the work, but there was no joy, no fulfillment. You see, when Jesus said, do you have any food? He is asking them Do you have any fulfillment, love and joy in these things. There was a reason for your calling, you have began following the Lord, are you fulfilled at this point of your life? And they said, we are not fulfilled.

So, you cannot find fulfillment outside of Christ. Bible says for the joy that was set ahead of Jesus, He endured. So, there must be a sense of joy before you are ready or you're inspired or motivated to continue your discipleship. But you see, the joy has a place you can find it, you can’t find the joy everywhere. So, you can't just choose a path and then find joy in it. It must be a path that has been given to you by your master the Lord. And so, Jesus said, follow me and I will make you fishers of men and here we saw that they were doing something different from what they had been called for.

So, they couldn't pursue that and find joy at the same time. But Jesus said let me help you people to find your joy, so that you will find the real joy. And so, He told them come and eat, a food that they did not prepare themselves, Jesus made arrangement for them. But the lesson we must not miss there is that fulfillment in ministry, fulfillment in life is tied to fulfilling purpose. You can't have any sense of joy, if you're moving away from your assignment. As we are being explained to, there was a purpose that they should become fisher of men. What could make the man of God to say, let us go fishing? Are they the same? What was troubling his heart? Was he confused? Was he in doubt? Was he frustrated? Was he thinking like, I've been this for the last three and a half years? What do I have to show for it? Let me go to my trade.

Maybe if I had not left it, I would have become greater. Maybe the whole world would have known me. But you know, that would have been a great mistake. And so, haven made a decision to go back to what he was doing before, the Bible says he didn't get any profit from it. And so, it would not be wisdom for us to who had began following Jesus in the process called discipleship to now tell ourselves: what do we have to show for this discipleship? Let me go in pursuit of else. Maybe if I can become a musician, maybe I'll become a celebrity, and then I'll start having 30 million, 30 billion, I will start carrying dollars, I will start getting houses in Banana Island. What is this discipleship for?

So, there is a tendency for a man or a woman who is not getting enough results in life in ministry to want to go back. It is like the engine room of our ministries, our discipleship. And the discipleship is not palatable. The discipleship is not the easy going. There's a word my wife normally use like it is not a jolly-good-ride. Discipleship is not like that, it is like a weight, it is demanding because it is a making process. You can never find a product that is produced through an easy process. Products come out beautiful but they don’t go through easy moments. For those of us who have seen glass, and how transparent a glass is, imagine what a glass goes through? There are times in the life of a glass that is just like a particle, like a grain of sand. But when it enters a furnace, at a very intense temperature, it melts to the point of transparency. So, the transparency is the beauty. For instance, you have a bottle. The beauty of the bottle is in the transparency. What makes the bottle transparent is the furnace, the fire.

So, there is no product that passes through easy moment and then come out beautiful. Discipleship wouldn't be easy. If it was easy, Peter will not say let's go fishing. Because the fishing was not discipleship. It was business. And there is no way to evangelize when you are trying to catch fish in small water, and the wave is tossing you to and fro, which soul are you winning? So, you must understand that if you get to a point in your discipleship, it looks as if, if you don’t leave this discipleship and do something else, your life will stop working. Then, Peter was in your shoes. If I just use this example. Imagine a man who has been a disciple, and who has been leaning under that Christ so that the person will become a leader.

You remember the essence of your discipleship is that you will become a leader. Jesus said: a disciple, if a disciple is perfect, the disciple will become just like his master. What is that? That is leadership. Alright, imagine a man who has been a disciple for years. But because of certain reasons, financial reasons, peer pressure, family pressure, the person pulls away, and then could no longer continue his discipleship process. And then begins a business. After doing the business for like months, nothing to show for it. And then God shows up one day, and God just makes the business to explode overnight. And then the person has millions, and then God says now I have given you millions. Will you leave his business? You know, you didn't do anything before you got those millions. You've been toiling for six months; you didn't get anything. It was just yesterday, I connected you with somebody that gave you 2 million. Will you now go back to the discipleship? And the person is like God, you know this two million is like coins, Lord if you can build the momentum to 2 million every day, you can imagine what I will do in the church, just allow me to settle down.

How does it look like? Now, what Jesus did by giving them the fish was not to tell them to remain like that. It was to help them to see, perhaps, the limitation of humanity, the vanity in all these. Sometimes you are praying to God for money and God gives it to you and then you are like what should I do with this money? You can be asking God for help anytime and the reason why you are pulling out of discipleship could be for any reason. If God decides to shock you with the answer, you will not be like Lord, I have the answer now, but I am still empty. Do you understand?

You know, when the children of Israel, but before this example of the children of Israel, I have been asking my wife for a very good jollof rice for a while now. You know, and yesterday, she gave me jollof rice. I was very hungry when she brought it. As soon as she left, I said please come back, I have finished what you gave me, come and give me another one. So, she brought another one. I now said: it is not as if I am done, but let me just honorably stop now. So, I was fully completely with the jollof rice. In fact, all the accessories on the jollof rice were not important to me. It was the jollof rice because it was as my soul desired it. Did we understand? And then, in the night, instead of my wife to help me flip it, she now said: the jollof rice is still available, am I still interested? I told her to bring it because I was still judging myself based on the way I was hungry in the afternoon. But this time around, I was not even able to eat thirty percent of the food. The reason is because I had reached the peak of my excitement for jollof rice.

So, in the morning, the rice was shacking m, but in the evening, I was already tired of it. So, God can give you. God gave the children of Israel certain things to the point that they ate to stupor. So beware, asking God for something, Lord, if you can't give me things, I will leave discipleship. And then you now leave, God can give you that thing and in the long run, you will still be empty. So, it is not about what God gives you, it is about you having God with His gifts. That is what brings joy. You are in a place that God has planted you, it brings joy. You are doing what God has ask you to do, it produces joy. If you leave God and you go in search of those things and you find those things, and you lack God, you will still be empty. That is why apostle Paul kept saying it: imitate me as I imitate Christ. He said further that everything that he has ever acquired in his life, he counts them as dung for the excellency of Christ Jesus. He now says: that I may know Him. That is my preoccupation. I do not consider myself to have apprehended, but this is one thing I do: I press on and my goal is that I may attain. It shows us that there is something Paul was pursuing. If has it, he would have been satisfied and stopped pursuing. But he kept at it.

The truth is this: if what you are looking for is money, you can have it and lack God, you will still commit suicide. Can we do experiment? Can you tell God: What is need is a car, a flamboyant car, that has AC and all the accessories? Now you have the car, you don’t have peace. You are in the car, and you are like: what else? This one is even 2021, I need 2023. You are even planning to go two years ahead of the world. There is nothing, no matter how beautiful in this world, that can satisfy you. Myself and my wife, we were watching a YouTube video but I was the one that really focused on it. The YouTube channel just like to make people think. The owner of the YouTube channel said: imagine, that you are the richest man in the world and you have all the money in the world, okay now, you feel your current house is not good again, you want to pull it down and build another one, you now feel like you should go to this country. The man us to imagine even me I was tired of the imagination.

Because the issue is that the man in question, the hypothetical man, has all the money in this world. So, the man in the video concluded that it was boring to be the wealthiest man in the world because he keeps looking for new things. Imagine a man saying okay, I am tired of living with people, let me be living on an Island. Now, I'm on an island, I need a ship, I need yachts. You keep having things because as you are imagining things, because the money is available. You see you get to a point that there is no more joy in the money. Please let us know that you can find joy outside of God. And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy! So, you remove God, you remove joy. This word is not a typical word, it is a word that we must meditate on.

Apostle Paul said what can separate us from the love of Christ. It is like leadership is tied to the love of God. And I want us to think about it. You may not love too much as a disciple, but you can't be a leader without love of God. Except you're not a good leader. Jesus said: do you love me more than this? If you love me, then feed my lambs. If you don't love me, you cannot succeed feeding them, they will frustrate you. They will make you to need to go and fish again. But if you love me more than this, you will feed them, you will tend my sheep. So, you need love to lead because leading is helping another person. You see as a disciple; it can be all about yourself. I need to know: Apostle Paul said: that I may know Him. A disciple is thinking about himself or herself. A disciple will go to pray so that he or she can grow. A disciple is all about himself or herself. A leader is about another.

So, you must love God to love another person, to have time for people. So, as a disciple, you want to communicate with the discipler, you're like, sir, I have a question, ma, I have a question. You are the one that has a question, the person must always have the opportunity to answer you. Is anything special there? Anybody can ask questions, but that you are a person that other people can come to and ask question and you're not feeling like they are stealing your time. It takes love of God. So, Peter was asked: do you love me? He didn’t say: do you love the people? The Genesis is not loving the people. The Genesis is loving God.

You begin it by loving God because these are God's people. These are not your people, less you glory in their growth, less you glory in their sacrifices. They are God's people. There is no glory in it for you. It's all about God. These are God's inheritance. You are only a man that has a responsibility to oversee that you have a task over the inheritances of God, the flock of God, so they are not your flock. They belong to God. So, if you don't love God, really, you cannot take care of His people. Imagine, I can never appreciate you, I can never say thank you. And yet, you will still do something good to me. You have to love God. You know there's nothing you can ever gain in this man, in this woman, yet, you are helping the person. It is the love of God.

We do a lot of trade by barter in the church. I preach to them. They give me something. They will never give you anything, will you still preach to them? It takes the love of God. They will not come to greet you in your house, they will not come to do anything, but will you still love them? Will you still do something? It takes the love of God. So, don't ask yourself: do I love them? It begins with do I love God? How much do I love God? The love of God is what is shed abroad in our hearts and it is the basis of our leadership. It is the strength of our leadership. Bible says: in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy, fullness of joy, and by that joy we lead. You cannot lead successfully if you are lacking in joy. Nothing is exciting, nothing is inspiring, nothing is encouraging, can you then encourage another? You don't have hope, you don’t have expectations, everything is sorrowful and sadly to you, will you now encourage another?

So, the love of God must be shed abroad in your heart and it must produce joy and by that joy, like, from the well of that joy, you will feed others. From the abundance of that joy, you will take care of the needs of others. Just calm down and look at it. What is it for God? You are the only one coming to Him with all your problems. When things are not going well for you, when your marriage is not going well for you, you run to God. You are the one coming to God, that shows God as a leader, you are the one coming to Him. They are the ones that people go to so that their problems can be solved, as if the leader does not have his own personal problems.

So, imagine a man that is lacking in joy, you are like you have so much problems in your life and somebody is crying to you for a little thing and you're like is this just this small problem and you are still going all about? You know you are not talking with love? So, as we are trying to become established, as we are trying to fulfill the assignment of God in our lives, we must understand the place of us remaining in the love of Christ. And then understanding that until we follow Him, and we follow Him well, others will not be able to follow us, except we lead them astray. All the pains we have, we put it on Jesus.

Now, let's look at it again very quickly. We bring our pains to Jesus, He bears them. We have questions, He answers them. Imagine that Jesus lacks the ability to meet us at the point of our needs, then what need do we have coming to Him? So, it means the ability that a man acquires, the capacity that a woman builds in herself as a leader is what makes the person a leader indeed or a leader a useful person. Now this is what I'm trying to say. You could choose to be a leader with title and all you offer your people is title. But if the people we benefit from your life, it is because you have built capacity over time that can meet them at the point of their needs.

So, when you are in your discipleship process, knowing fully well that it is your discipleship that prepares you for your leadership, you don't take matters lightly. If you lack capacity as a disciple, you will lack capacity as a leader. That's the point! It is like saying to somebody, when you come to the stage, it is not the place to prepare. On the day of performance is not a day to rehearse, when you appear on stage is a day or a time, a season to perform. The earnest expectation of the creation, they wait eagerly for the manifestation, the performance of the sons of God, not children. Children, do you have any food? Not children, the sons, those who have by reason of use have their senses exercised, those who have built capacity under God over time.

The Bible will talk about Jesus that He called His disciples unto Himself, that they may be with Him and that He might send them out. So, there is a process, a period in time that they come to be with Him, and all that happens to them is that capacity is built up in them. The question is, what is the use of the capacity, it is the leadership, the leadership demands, the capacity, and it is not in the leadership that you say you just quickly develop it, you build a capacity in your discipleship. So, we were told by the help of the Holy Spirit that the best of disciples, they become leaders. It's a matter of time. But what happens to people who never or who were never disciples, who are called leaders by men?

There was a secular man that said that in the world, the whole world is at risk or in danger of men who never learnt to follow who have the power to lead. Imagine a man who has never been slapped before, they now tell him to be slapping people, won’t the people that would be slapped be put under serious problem? Bible talking about Jesus says we do not have a high priest who is not touched with the feelings of our infirmities, what we are going through, He went through it. He knows our feelings. He knows our pains. He knows our fears. When Apostle Paul was in ministry, he will talk about in fear often in peril, in dangers, he could still do the work.

Now, Apostle Paul is not the Lord Jesus Christ, but still, he has gotten an experience that he has an ability to lead some of us today. Why do we read the epistles of apostle Paul? There were things he learnt in the moment he followed Jesus that he was teaching us in his writings. So, every time we read the writings of apostle Paul, God is teaching us through brother Paul. Brother Paul learnt the things he wrote to us when he was following. So, when apostle Paul says, imitate me as I imitate Christ, even we too, we are imitating apostle Paul as he imitated Christ. So, the leadership that apostle Paul got, he got it on the basis of his discipleship. He became a leader because he was a disciple. And so, the things that is impacting on his disciples are the things that he was imparted as a disciple.

Apostle Paul said to Timothy: the things that you have received from me the same commit it to faithful men who will be able to teach others as well haven built their capacity. So, if you are dancing away your moment of discipleship, then you will successfully dance away your moment of leadership. Okay, let's look at people in their 70s today. Let's look at people in their 60s today. Are all 60-year-old people, 70-year-old people lead in in Nigeria? Are they all leading in Japan, in Cameroon, in different countries? Is leadership tied to age? If leadership is tied to age, then all the leaders in the world would be hold people? Is that true? So, leadership is not tied to age, leadership is tied to discipleship. That's the word. Until have followed another, you cannot be followed.

Those who in their youthful days decide to drink away their lives, they are not able to lead anyone today. So, what you use to lead people in days to come are the things that you are led with at this moment. So, if you joke with your discipleship, you will joke with your leadership, you will have no leadership. So, as we all aspire to become leaders, as we all aspire to become effective leaders, let us focus on discipleship. You know we said a disciple is a dedicated follower. There is the place of dedication. Not just a man that has title. I'm a dedicated follower. People may not see me following but God sees me following. I am following faithfully. I'm not trying to skip phases; I'm passing through the paths. The process of my making I'm not making light of them. I'm taking them seriously. And as we do that, God will help us. It is only a matter of time. Elisha will become a leader. It's only a matter of time.

Elisha was a businessman minding his oxen. When the mantle came upon him, he left everything and he followed. He followed so much that people around him knew him as the one that poured water on the hands of Elijah. When Elijah left, he became a leader. From discipleship to leadership, he didn't just become a leader of one or two people, he became a national leader. In fact, he became the leader over the region. The kings of Syria and other places they consulted him. There was even the time that a foreign king called him a father. But what was the foundation, his discipleship. So, if it is possible to become a leader without being a disciple, then Jesus wouldn’t have asked those ones to follow Him. As soon as He found them, He would say: you, become a leader, you too, become a leader.

So, I think that people cannot even impart you with leadership, like I impart to you, leadership. Like: today, this day, I make you a leader. God does not prophecy you into leadership, even though He could give you the gift of leadership, but leadership is that process that we bring it out. Discipleship is not to bring you down, it to bring you up, to help you connect with your real self, your ruling, your reigning self. I pray that God will help us in Jesus name.


Thanks for the gift of your time, We are Gboyega ADEDEJI and Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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Discipleship Followership Apostle Paul Christ Jesus Peter James John


Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with CHARACTER. To transform your society, you will require more than MENTORING!


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Friday 27th September 2019


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Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
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Gboyega ADEDEJI


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Mentored By Jesus Christ | Writer | Inspiring Speaker | Publisher | Coach | Builder | FOUNDER @ FridaypostsHubpile, Pay4ebooks | President/CEO at Centre for New Dimension Leadership | Entrepreneur | Husband & Father. Engaging me will change you!


Obayomi Abiola Benjamin


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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.



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