Albert Schweitzer said, “The three most important ways to lead people are: by example, by example, and by example.” As we talk about church leadership, we know that setting the example is paramount. Jesus even said this after He washed the disciples’ feet. In John 13:14, Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Jesus, the ultimate leader, lived a life worth copying.
Paul wanted to be a role model. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, he said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” I used to think he was saying that he wanted people to imitate him in the areas where he was doing things right and imitating Christ. Yet, he did not want people to imitate when he was missing the mark. However, there are other passages where he confidently says, “Follow my lead. Do as I say, and as I do.”
“I urge you, then, be imitators of me.” 1 Corinthians 4:16
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” Philippians 3:17
“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6
“For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:7
“It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.” 2 Thessalonians 3:9
We need to live lives worth imitating. We are called to “be holy.” God expects us to live a life of thankfulness due to the gift of salvation. Be real.
“A good example is far better than a good precept.”
Dwight L. Moody