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Leading from following

Published on 10 May 2021

Leadership is a test of character and purpose. Day after day, whether leading in your business or sports team, ministry or family, the way we lead is informed by how we learn, and directed by that to which we look.

John Berger, in his book 'Ways of Seeing', insightfully suggested that 'the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.'

In other words, echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson, we must fix our sight both on what lies before and beyond us, so that we might see what is within us.

In looking to what lies before us, we will encounter the colourful creative inspiration of creation, yet we must also rest secure in the truth that lies beyond what we see and encounter in the world around us, through which the picture is completed.

The apparent oxymoronic nature of the person of Christ is that he is the personification of what Berger is alluding to.

Jesus is both before us as a vision of discipleship, offering to us a blueprint for life lived in service of God; yet he is also the very truth, which, beyond our earthly vision, holds together the very fibre of existence.

Hebrews 12 outlines our vision

Hebrews 12:1-3 calls us to fix 'our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.'

As leaders of organisations and teams, it is for us to pursue this dual vision that both looks to the person of Jesus, so that we might follow in his footsteps and grow in his character, whilst also seeing beyond into the eternal purpose of God.

And so, with confidence as we work, build and grow, we know that we are co-creators of the Kingdom, with Christ.

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