Who Are You Leading?
2 Timothy 2:2
(2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
“Leadership is influence”. We’ve heard those words for many years. This passage of scripture reveals that you should be actively involved in four levels, or “spheres”, of leadership influence.
Leadership Sphere 1. Who Are You Following? “The things which you have heard from me.”
Timothy had allowed the Apostle Paul to be one of his primary influences. Before you become a follower of someone, make sure you know who they are following. Before you allow someone to be an influence, find out who is influencing them. Who are you following? Who influences you? If I were to discover who your influences are, would I be in safe hands under your leadership?
Leadership Sphere 2. Who Are You With? “…Among many witnesses…”
Timothy didn’t follow Paul in isolation. There were many witnesses, or many peers who were following Paul. If a person is wanting to be your leader, mentor, coach, pastor or guide, check and see if that person is able to lead others. Real leaders are recognized by more than an isolated few. If a so called leader has isolated you and is attempting to lead or influence you, that is probably an unsafe situation. If you are the only one following a person, you need to reconsider. Paul was saying to Timothy, “I am a proven leader. There are plenty of credible people bearing witness with what I am doing and saying.” Timothy’s peer group was his second sphere of influence. On a recent Sunday I read 2 Tim 2:2 to our church and explained to them that this scripture limits with whom I spend my time. I told them, “I’m not going to waste my time and abilities on unfaithful, inconsistent people.” This sounds politically incorrect, but it’s the very thing that this verse is teaching. Who is in your peer group? Are they developing as leaders? Do they have goals and the ambition to make an impact with their lives? Are there more than a few people following the people who influence you?
Leadership Sphere 3. Who Is Following You? “…the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able…”
The character of a leader is measured by the character of his or her followers. The fruit of a leader is the type of people who eventually follow him. There are two types of people that you, as an influencer, should pour your time and resources into: “Faithful men”, and “Able men”. If the people you are leading are faithful, they will become able. An able person who is not faithful is destructive. Don’t promote people because of their skills or ability. Watch them to see if they are faithful. Do they mix well with the others on your team, or do they only want YOUR attention and time. Are they position seekers or are they willing to work and perform without a title. I watch people who are already doing the work without a title or position and then give them an official position. I don’t give a person a title then tell him or her to go do their position. Who are you trying to lead? Are you trying to lead unfaithful, unteachable people? Are you trying to turn able people into faithful ones or are you trying to help faithful people become able?
Leadership Sphere 4. Who Is Following Your Followers? “Who shall be able to teach others also.”
Your goal is to lead leaders, not merely followers. Every organization needs more leaders. Every family needs more and better leadership. Insecure leaders want nothing but followers. Real leaders want their followers to become leaders. Let your team learn the art and attitude of leadership. Don’t feel threatened when they begin to step out and take initiative. Encourage their growth. Challenge them to work you out of a job. As they grow they won’t replace you; they will push you to a higher level of influence. Are those you are leading becoming leaders or does your leadership stop with one generation? Are you able to get your followers to influence and lead others? If not, what do you need to do to make that happen?
So, in this passage, we see four spheres of influence happening all of the time.
Paul to Timothy
Timothy to his peers
Timothy to his team
Timothy’s Team to their team
– Byron Mills, Senior Pastor