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Following the wrong leader
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Follow the leader! It’s a cool game from a previous generation.

You know, back before video games with all the pyrotechnics and loud noises. Don’t remember that far back. Well, let me take you back. It was in the days when kids had to get out of the house. First of all, it was hot inside. There was nothing to do but get volunteered for work if Mom or Dad saw you doing nothing but sitting. We were not on an isolated farm, so there were other people around, you know, kids who were having fun playing and getting into minor trouble. All you had to do was get to them. Thus, out of the house we bounded as soon as we got in from school.

One of our great games was “Follow the Leader.” The leader did not have to be smart, only a little older than most of the others. He, or she, never got voted on, the leader just took over. This daring soul started walking and everyone else had to follow. Whatever the leader did, the others had to do also. My most memorable experience with this game was the day I was walking behind my brother who was following his good friend. We walked along the wooden framework supporting a fence made of tin. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if one of us had lost his balance and fallen on the top of the tin. (I never said this was a game of intelligence.) That part of the trip was fine. It was only when we started walking between the rungs of a ladder lying on the ground that trouble came. I tripped, fell and landed on my thumb in such a way that it was knocked out of joint. It was the worst pain I ever experienced as a four-year old. Our leader was not careful

about overseeing and helping those who were following. His task was to get his followers to fail.

The Bible tells us, “Lay hands suddenly on no man” (I Tim. 5:22).

This refers to choosing leaders and imparting spiritual gifts. Don’t choose a leader quickly, learn who this person really is before agreeing to follow. We must be careful about those that we follow, especially our spiritual leaders. We should do our best to follow those who are living for God by obeying His Word.

Bad leaders will bring you pain just as my leader that day brought pain to me. A trip to the emergency room was the result. The doctor told me that what he was about to do would be painful and I could yell loudly if I wanted to, but it would not help. It was painful, so I yelled as loudly. He was right. It didn’t help!

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