Leadership as Inviting Others to Hear for Themselves  
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 2:36PM
Terry-Michael Newell

I’m struck by some verses in John’s gospel which have something to say about what should be done when we’re trying to lead others in any way, including leading them to Christ. 

In the follow-up verses to the story in John 4 after Jesus had encountered the Samaritan woman, what struck me was what the folks from her village said once they personally encountered Jesus. 

They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." (John 4:42, TNIV)

This is a key principle of leadership in most, if not all, contexts (i.e., to help others become able to say, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves.”)

Leading others to Christ has been anything but this for too many years. We’ve tried to make a uniform faith, an orthodox doctrine, or a systematic theology (Uh oh, what did I just attack there??). We’ve attempted to explain the Christian faith in cookie cutter fashion leaving no room for a “hear for yourself” gospel reality.

The Samaritan woman teaches a great lesson. 

Tell others the story, but give them room enough to discover Christ in their own ways. Might this produce richer and more meaningful expressions of faith that aren’t so homogeneous or orthodox? 

The richness of a faithful community might best be described by the depth of its diversity rather than the breadth of its conformity.

Article originally appeared on Terry-Michael Newell (http://www.terrymichaelnewell.com/).
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