I hate conventionality, although I would probably be the first in line to conform to the newest fad or trend. I have to keep up with the best of them, stay tuned in, be in the loop, can’t be left behind. More than that I want to be the beginning of the loop, I want to be where it all starts, the first in everything. Then I could lead and conform all at the same time. No worry about giving in and jumping on the bandwagon because I’ll be the one driving it. Popularity and influence exists within the status-quo. Swim along with the current and face forward just like everybody else and then you might make it to the front of the crowd.
So that’s how leaders are born, they mold conformity to their own personal agenda. The status-quo treats them well and they reap the benefits of their popularity and influence by perpetuating the fads and trends, manipulating the crowd’s desires and temptations. Or so it would seem. They maintain their leadership because they are hardwired for greatness, we all are. Power, greatness, influence, popularity, creativity, and ingenuity are all good things, right? Moses provides context for these traits when he describes the planting of the seed of greatness in Genesis. In Genesis 1 after God create humankind, both man and woman, He blessed them. He said to them to “be fruitful,” “fill the earth,” and to “rule.” Here, God endows the human race with the desire to be great, a desire which will motivate them to create, as He did, to be productive, and to have purpose.
We are all wired for greatness, for leadership. We are all leaders at some point, in some area whether we believe it or not. However, if the majority of us conform then how can we possibly fulfill this blessing that has endowed us to greatness? We live in a suspension between conformity and greatness. We want greatness but can we possess it without influence and popularity? Sometimes I wonder what if it is possible.
Then a man steps out onto humanity’s stage. His posture is poised, regal as if he was raised leading people and giving orders. Yet, there is a gentleness and humbleness in his eyes, in his graceful smile. His voice has the authority of a thousand kings but his words are sweet, full of hope. He quiets the tension in our hearts by showing us that to be a leader is to be a servant. He is an example of greatness bending down to lend a hand to those who have been crushed by the coursing river of privilege. For a moment he ceased all movement and the status-quo was torn down. It all came crumbling down the day Christ rose from the dead and the status-quo has never possessed the same power it once enjoyed.
Christ showed us that we can be a part of something great by breaking down every expectation, by reversing the status-quo, and by changing lives. This change comes through service to others, to those who do not have a voice or say, to the innocent, and underprivileged. God needs us to be the fruitful leaders He designed us to be in order to re-make the kingdom of heaven on earth. God helps us achieve our potential by giving Jesus as our frame of reference and the Holy Spirit as our guide and strength. The history of the Church begins in Acts 1 when the Holy Spirit in poured out onto the believers. By chapter 2 everyone, man and woman, son and daughter, are prophesying; they are speaking and leading. Not just the guys who were already established as the head-honcho, but everybody. Everything about the set up of the Church and its purpose reverses any idea we, as a race, had of leadership, what it means to lead. Being a follower of Christ is to be a leader among men and women. To lead is to serve, to love and be loved is to sacrifice.
We are already so much more powerful without the status-quo, without the popularity and influence than we originally believed. The Holy Spirit was gifted to our ancestors in the Church hundreds of years ago. Our greatness as Christians, as a people, and as individuals comes through our collective ability to take one man’s faith and change the world. We are great because we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
Even within our daily lives we lead by showing love and compassion to our friends and family. It’s in our genetic code; we were hard-wired for compassion, for leadership, and for greatness. Let love inspire you to lead and let the source of that love come from the man who died for humanity. Let greatness inspire you to become part of the global church family that embraces the world with compassionate hands. Let leadership guide you into an identity that was perfected in the garden; one that continually makes you holy so that every morning you become great.
Lifestyle Sarah Dannemiller