If you want to see leadership in action, Jesus provides an ongoing example. In John chapter 21, Jesus met with Peter and John and some of the other disciples after his resurrection. Jesus asked Peter to follow him and they began walking. Peter asked about John, and why John was following, too.
Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22 NASB
Many times, we want the special plan, until we think it is harder. Then we want the easy plan. We like the special plan and special treatment. But if it looks like we got in the difficult line, we start looking for a way out. Jesus was in the process of restoring Peter. Peter had recently denied Jesus 3 times. Jesus was showing Peter that Peter would take a different path as a follower of Jesus than John or anyone else.
How often do you see others following Jesus differently than you? If you seldom see any difference, you need to branch out. And if you see a difference and think others are wrong, or dumb, think again. God accepts worship in many forms. Believers obey him in their own experience and context. The varieties don’t point out how we’re disunited nearly as much as they show the variety God has built into the world.
Each of us follows Jesus our own way. We’re accountable to him and to him alone. We make ourselves accountable to our brothers and sisters in Christ to keep ourselves humble and to allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit to direct us.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NASB
Notice how Jesus refers to “your” light and “your” good works. Jesus intends for each of us to filter his light and to represent him in our good works. The call to make disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 is a call to leadership and individual initiative. We are each different in makeup, time, skills, abilities and background. Our differences equip us to make Jesus known every way possible and to people in every walk of life. Our individual initiative and our character-based leadership make Jesus known.
Do you sense Jesus asking you to do something outside of the rules or different from the norm? Ask God to show you how to minister to the people around you and then just do it. What do you have to lose?