the weblog of Alan Knox

Are you a leader?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2013 in blog links | 9 comments

When my children were younger, we would read a book to them called Are You My Mother? At the beginning of the book, a bird is hatched, and it spends the remainder of the book looking for its mother. The young bird asks anything and everything it sees (a cow, a dog, even a power shovel), “Are you my mother?” The bird did not know what its mother would be like…

I thought about that book recently when I wrote an article (now published by House2House Magazine) called “When a Leader is not a Leader.”

I think many Christians are walking around following “leaders” who are not really leaders. Why? Like the bird in the children’s story book, I don’t think most Christians know what a leader looks like. A leader among the church (according to Scripture, anyway) does not look like the normal business or civic or social leader.

This is how I ended the article, and this is the questions that I think we should all consider:

What if the people you view as leaders are not actually the leaders that God has placed in your life? How would you know the difference?

Please jump over to House2House Magazine, read the article, and leave me some feedback.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-10-2013

    Vary Simple–

    Study and Do the Word==
    Retain the Word==
    Teach the Word==

    But it’s got to be the Word and action out of the Godly Love we don’t see much, really. Is there a perfect leader? NO But they still can operate out of Love. Mistakes? Yes but they still can operate out of Love. Operate what? The Word==Not there OWN word. God’s Rightly Divided Word of Truth.

    That’s a leader, NOT a leader that follows all around the Word, and teaches what people WANT to here. Obviously there’s way to much of that, now isn’t there?


  2. 11-11-2013

    A leader is one who want more saints doing what he does, not merely listening to what he says in perpetual dependency week after year after decade.
    2 Timothy 3:10
    You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

    Philippians 4:9
    What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

  3. 11-11-2013


    Yours is an excellent article on “When A Leader Is Not A Leader” – delineating the warning about “lording over” attitude which misses the humility of their role as leaders in the church. Nicely described. Thank you.

    Here is a link to a message on this, which takes the topic further, and should prove additionally edifying:

    Cheers, Don Broesamle

  4. 11-12-2013

    Hi Alan,

    This is a subject that needs far more attention than it gets! Could I suggest a really radical idea? I have checked and my Bible says absolutely nothing about any Christian being a leader of others! The Lord Jesus never apopointed any leaders, never trained anybody to lead, never gave any qualifications for recognizing leaders, so why is there such an emphasis in the “church” today on “CHURCH LEADERSHIP”???

    I would suggest, as Jon Zens points out in his article, Christ is Our Leader” that there is only one church leader and that is Christ. He is not looking for more leaders but rather more followers! I don’t weant to be a leader but rather a good follower of His! For your interest, I have written a series of blog posts entitled “The Myth of Church Leadership” on another blog. The first one may be found at

    Your brother in Christ,
    Bruce Woodford

  5. 11-12-2013


    This article is not about trying to be a leader or trying to appoint leaders or training leaders. However, Jesus did tell us how to recognize leaders (they are the ones who are serving others), and NT authors wrote about leaders and leading. There are many good reasons to follow the example of others, and we see this commended in the NT. But, whose example should we follow? Do we follow Jesus Christ? Absolutely! Does Jesus often lead us through others? Yes, he does. How do we know when someone is leading us in the way of Jesus? That’s the point of this article. (By the way, 3 John is a great example of different kinds of leaders among the church.)


  6. 11-12-2013

    Leaders are godly men and women who live in such a way that other Christ-followers look to them as examples. Leaders are those who are willing to live their lives as open books. No one needs to appoint them, their lives speak for them. Yes, in service, but also in integrity, humility and wisdom.

    Too often today we hire people to ‘do the job’ and try to separate out their personal lives from their job. Politicians want us to believe that the personal character is different and of no real importance, rather can they do the job?

    People understand intuitively that some ‘leaders’ are worth following and some are not. Even the term following is a bit misleading. The question we should ask is, “When I’m down, struggling or in need of love, wisdom, etc, to whom would I feel comfortable going and heeding their counsel?”

    The Church would do well to affirm and acknowledge those who are of such a caliber and to especially avoid hiring any who are not of that caliber. (better yet, don’t hire, just acknowledge, affirm and give double honor to them)

  7. 11-12-2013


    I agree with you. However, I think that “follow” is the right word, when we understand it means “follow their example.” So, when we see someone living a life of service, integrity, humility, and wisdom, we “follow” when we also live a life of service, integrity, humility, and wisdom.


  8. 11-19-2013

    Well, according to your reference to Are You My Mother, that means that your leader is just someone who looks like a bigger version of yourself? Follow people who agree with you? That’s how you know they are your leader. This works out well, because it does not require you to change and reenforces all your preexisting notions. Makes sense, right?

    Either that or the guy’s name has to be Rick Grimes.

    I think those are both solid foundations for determining if someone is a legitimate leader.

  9. 11-28-2013

    Alan, an analogy…

    When a squad went on patrol in ‘Nam one guy is ahead of the others–he’s the “point”. “Point’s” purpose is to detect early signs of the enemy, ambushes, or possibly booby-traps/trip wires. Point is highly experienced and has a learned knowledge of the enemy and is very perceptive. In the worst situation point man will be the first to fall if he fails in detection, thus being a warning to the rest of the squad.

    In the household of Christ gender is not the determining factor. Being willing to be point for the family is defined by experience, perception, detection, and the willingness to be a self-sacrifice for the good of others.