There’s this great scene in the movie, “We Were Soldiers” when a group was training to land and jump out of a helicopter. As the officer is about to hop out first and lead the way, Mel Gibson’s character points to him and says, “He’s dead, what do you do?” After a few seconds of hesitation someone guesses, “Get out of the chopper,” and they all awkwardly fall out in confusion. Mel’s character uses this moment to teach that everyone has to learn the job of the man ahead of them and teach their job to the man behind them.
Luckily, no one has had to lead a small group “under fire”, in fear of being shot. *(see note below) But, there’s nothing more important we can do as a leader, than training up new leaders who could one day take our place.
There’s this scary verse in Judges 2:10 which says, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”
It only took one generation! One generation of parents didn’t teach their children about God- and so that whole generation just didn’t know!
We may not be teaching groups while being shot at, but leading a small group is a serious job. And it matters! You help people become more like Jesus. You help them feel cared for by others and ultimately by God. As people grow in their faith, it changes their life forever! That matters. And we need more and more troops on the field training and ready to stand up and say, “follow me.”
I think the best leaders will be judged, not by how awesome they were, but by how many awesome leaders they’ve left in their wake.
If you disappeared from leading your group tomorrow- what would happen?
Who do you think would step up and lead your group if you disappeared? (That’s probably the person or persons you should begin pouring into.)
*Note: I do want to mention how thankful I am for the brave men and women who put their life on the line everyday in serving our country. I deeply respect your service.