For those that do not really know much about me, it might come as a surprise that I have worked with jr. high students for about a decade… and I am only 24yrs old. That means I have worked with kids aging from 10-14yrs old since I was basically their age (for those of you wondering about that age spread, I allowed 5th grade students to attend my club when I was the official YFC club leader in Centreville, MI). And over those years, I have developed a handful of games that I enjoy more than any of the other games. But one game stands out from the rest, and mostly due to its odd name.
“Don’t Follow the Leader.”
This game is somewhat of an amalgamation and hodgepodge of “rock-paper-scissors” and “sharadess.” What you do is you have people come up with three different poses, then you name each pose. “Tebowing,” “Discount Double-Check,” and “Usain Bolt” are three of the most common poses, but I enjoy making poses that resemble the personality of regular attenders. It makes the game a lot of fun.
But, the games goes on from there. You get the kids to all stand in a circle around one main person, or you have that person stand on stage in front of everyone. This main person is going to be the “poser.” As the leader/ emcee of the game, I have the poser stand with shut eyes and I say “one, two, three, pose!” and everyone poses. Hopefully there is not a delay with kids waiting to see what the poser does, and if there is, then you just have to make sure that the poser waits half a second or so pose.
Well, the object of the game is to be one of the people who does not follow the leader. If you do the same pose as the leader, then you are out. The object of the game is to be the last person standing. And why are you the last person standing?
Because you did not follow the leader!
This game is a partial object lesson against giving into peer pressure, or just following the masses. It is also a chance to let the students get creative by making new poses at the start of each new game. It also is fun to be the person in the middle doing the poses. On top of all that, it gives the best pictures!
I bring up this game on day 145 of the wedding countdown because Psalm 145:1-6 reads like this:
1I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.b
6They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness
Christian leadership is all about directing people towards Jesus Christ; and as an engaged man, my desire is to direct Brittany towards Christ with every moment we spend together. This means practicing the disciplines of reading Scripture, praying together, confessing sins, and giving testimony to God’s works are all going to be integrated into our lives.
Essentially, as a leader, my goal is that I am so much in line with God’s will and plan for us that she does not have to worry.
Because my goal is that she is directed to Christ and follows Him better because of our relationship–not that she is “following me.”
And that is what leadership is about at the core. I cannot lead Brittany without following God wholeheartedly. And biblical leadership, according to Walter C. Wright, “points people to God and roots their identity, dignity, and security in their relationship with God and Christ” (Relational Leadership 2nd ed., IVP: 2009, pg 24). Leaders engage in relationships and empower others to become better. And this is because a true leader “points people away from the leader to the mission of the community and empowers their individual contributions toward that mission” (25).
Leaders guide others towards a mission, and not towards themselves. And the mission for Christ followers is to glorify God.
And what better God to glorify than our God! Psalm 145:8 declares
8The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
Let us always be directing others towards Him, so that they are followers of the Sovereign Lord over all creation, rather than us jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7!).
Take the time to read all of Psalm 145 today, and be encouraged that God is good, and Christ is coming again to rule over all the Earth with love, purity, and justice.