Leading or Just Taking a Walk?

There are at least two kinds of leaders.  The first kind is the one that leads by virtue of his power and title.  The second kind of leader leads by virtue of his passion and influence.  The former exerts power, the latter garners followers.  It has been stated this way: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” 


Many of the OT kings exerted power but little lasting influence.  I’m reading through 2 Chronicles in my devotions.  This morning I read about Jehoram’s reign.  He was the son of Jehoshaphat who is one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history; also one of my favorites.  Jehoram, however, would not hold a candle to his father.  His legacy is summarized in 2 Chronicles 21:18-20:


And after all this the Lord struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. [19] In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. [20] He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret.  They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.


It turns out that Jehoram was “only taking a walk.”  They despised him (no fire in his honor), he did not genuinely lead (“he departed with no one’s regret”), and he was snubbed (he was not buried in the tombs of the kings).  He died a fairly young man (40).  I like the message behind the title of the book You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader.  One does not have to live long to leave a lasting leadership legacy—consider the brief life of David Brainerd and Jim Elliot.  Jesus reminded us that genuine leadership is servant-leadership.  Let us follow our Lord’s example as we seek to genuinely lead humbly, but also with great passion and influence for the glory of God.


2 thoughts on “Leading or Just Taking a Walk?

  1. Good thoughts and I appreciate them. Biblical leadership is also shared leadership (not making the case for multiple elders but it could be an application of that principle).

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