There is much written these days about leadership. Leadership, they say, is the key to everything and without it the Church will spin and struggle in a quagmire of competing messages, with fits and starts, but no progress in any one direction. And, I suppose they are right about that. But what Paul is speaking of in our short little reading today is good “followership”.
The fact of the matter is, leaders are nothing if no one follows them. Paul pleads with the Thessalonians to follow their leaders; respecting them, listening to them, and following their lead. Sandy has a little saying that has popped up in our lives every once in a while. Whenever we are trying to figure out what to do in a certain matter, going back and forth over the various options, Sandy will get to the point where she says “I don’t care what you do, just do it”!
The fact of the matter is, it is not all that essential to figure out just the right thing to do for a Church. There are all kinds of things that a Church can and should do. Leaders simply need to say “here is a direction, let’s go”, and the people of the congregation, excited to have some focus and direction in their lives, responds with an attitude that says “lead on, we are right behind you”!
Leaders need to work at being good leaders, and the congregation needs to work at being good followers. When that happens, great things will happen in the Church of Jesus Christ.