In the military, there are a lot of leadership styles, depending on the exact position, if a small unit, more hands on, as one moves into larger type units the leadership is more telling to do, critiquing and then, make training plans and such based on units performance. With the various leadership styles, there is still a lot of difference between commanders. Some want to lead from the front, they want to be out there, showing the lower ranking personnel that they, as commander, will not ask more of them than he or she will give themselves. That has a time and place. Sometimes, people need to see the boss in charge, showing them what to do, giving them someone to follow. Other times though, one needs to lead from the rear. The commander needs to take a step back, get a broader perspective and encourage the soldiers in the mission. Give them all the support they need, with supplies, food, etc as well as the moral support. Tell them they are doing great or if one sees some hesitation, tell them they can do it, they are trained, equipped and prepared for the mission at hand.
Sometimes in life, outside the military we have to do that. As a father, grandfather, friend, coworker we sometimes have to show what to do and how to do it, lead by example, lead from the front. Other times, oh, say teaching a child to ride a bike, one can only do so much leading from the front and teaching, then one has to step back, lead from the rear. Encourage, point out what they need to do a little differently, peddle faster, don’t turn too fast, don’t peddle quite that fast, slow down, etc. Makes me think of a day my grandson and I went fishing, he had a big salmon on the line, I so badly wanted to take ahold of the rod with him and help him do it then he was starting to get tired, and I really struggled with not helping him or taking over for him, but, I stopped myself and just encouraged and coached a bit. That’s it, keep the rod up, reel in line as you lower it, GOOD, now lift the tip. You’re doing great! Finally, he got it up close and it was netted. WOW, the look on his face as he held it up! Times like that, they really get a lot more pride that they do it themselves and of course, I had more pride that he did it alone. They need to know that they can do for themselves. Prepares them for other struggles in life. There isn’t always going to be someone there to do things for them when life gets tough.
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:1
In Christian life, we sometimes need encouragement that God will see us through, things to test our faith and resolve. If there is someone there giving encouragement and support us as we deal with things but let us handle our struggles on our own, we grow as Christians. Yes, there may be times someone has to show you how to do things, but if we receive coaching and encouragement by having someone tell us, yes, that is how to approach things, that we are doing it right by praying and looking to God and His word as is more important for our spiritual growth.
Christ led by example, from the front so to speak, leading by doing.
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am. If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
And, in our Christian walk, its the same way. We all have to lead from the front as Christians. So many people are just waiting for a Christian to fail a little, maybe not even fail, just a little bit of a stumble is enough, and there they go, talking poorly about Christians. Saying so many say they are perfect, but look at you, or him, or her or whoever. Well, we all know, Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. The pastors have to lead from the front too. In the pulpit when they preach, giving instruction on God’s word. They have a much greater need to be mindful of leading from the front when out in public as well. The ones that like to watch any Christian fail or stumble, LOVE to see a minister do so. Then, once again, saying negative things about Christians.
We have to, all of us, lead from the rear too. Encouraging one another, building each other up.
But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. Deuteronomy 3:28
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32
Yeah, there are a lot of verses that talk about encouraging, strengthening others and the like. Lead from the rear. Prepare them, encourage them, support them as they find the way to grow in Christ.
Lord, I thank you and praise you. Your Grace and mercy knows no limits. I ask that you remind me as I go through life that at times, I need to be an example, lead from the front, showing others by being the best Christian I can be to let them see what you have done for me. Help me not to stumble. I also need your help with knowing when to be there to support, coach and encourage others, family, loved ones, other Christians, as they deal with issues. Giving them encouragement and spiritual support, but letting them find you and their way to better serve you. Jesus, some of this requires me to be humble, help me with that. Other parts of it require me to step back and put You and the person before me. I ask for help with that as well. Help me see when it is time for one or the other. God, I pray that you continue to work in the hearts, minds and lives of loved ones. Show them your way for them and that they need you in their lives. Draw them all to you. Show them your plan for their lives. Help me to be there leading from the front or encouraging from behind to draw them ever closer to you. Give me the wisdom to know which you seek of me. Thank you for my salvation, for your forgiveness.
Well, I hope that is helpful to someone besides me. I can think of a lot of ways this applies to my life. Sometimes, I have lead from the front when I should have been the support for someone. Other times, I tried to be supportive and should have been showing in my life how they should approach things in their own lives. Thanks for bearing with me. Please share as you feel He leads you and more than all have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to at least one other person.