On his blog, (http://www.ronedmondson.com) Ron Edmonson asked the question: "How can I follow you if I don't understand what you are saying?" I replied, "Just Trust Me!!"
Ron retorted, "yea, that's what they all say. we know where that has led some people." I inquisitively responded with, "granted ... but was the outcome due to blind loyalty, blind faith or just a case of the blind leading the blind?" Ron then suggested that that would make a good blog topic for me ... so, here 'tis.
This topic can be addressed from two distinctive viewpoints: As church leaders, why do we expect people to follow us? Or, as church laity, why do we follow others?
Since I belong to the first group - I want to examine it from that viewpoint.
Why do we expect people to follow us? To give a good 'churchy' answer, we can respond by saying, "we are the shepherds that God has put in place to lead his flock." Yeah - OK ... now that we have that one out in the open - let's get real.
Do people follow us because they understand what we're saying and agree with where we're going? Do they really have a grasp on the whole picture? If they do - then they are not necessarily exhibiting a trust in us, as much as a confidence in what they can see, touch, feel or know.
Do people follow us because we are the leadership, and as members, that's what they're supposed to do? If this is the case - then they are following by using blind loyalty. They don't care what we're saying, or where we're going --- they are just along for the ride and are obeying like good little sheep.
Do people follow us because, in spite of their efforts to understand what/where we're going - they can't completely grasp it, they have enough trust and faith in us to believe that we are in tune with what/where God is leading that they will follow us? If so, then they are exhibiting blind faith. They can't see it for themselves - but have faith that we know what we're doing.
Regardless in which of the above scenarios we find our laity following us - we must be sure that we are following what/where God is directing. When we follow His leading - then those following us will be going in the right direction. If we are trying to lead by shooting from the hip, and by trying to go in our own direction (apart from God) - we end up being the blind leading the blind.
Here's hoping that 2009 will be a year of following God's plan for us ... so we can help lead those to whom we've been called.