Being a Follower
By Dr. Dan Wuori
Have you ever played Follow the Leader? Let’s try. I’m going to move and I want you to do just the same things – as if you were my reflection in the mirror. Ready? (Model a variety of motions and have the children “mirror” your actions.)
You did a great job following my lead! In this week’s Gospel lesson Jesus talks to the disciples about what it means to be a “follower.” How would you explain that word? What does it mean to be a follower? (Solicit children’s responses.)
That’s right. A follower is someone who does things in a way that someone else (a “leader”) helps to decide. Being a follower can be a hard thing – because it means sometimes putting aside the things we want to do and following someone else’s lead.
Sometimes we are called to be followers of people who have “leader jobs” – like teachers or our bosses at work. But our most important leaders are people we follow – not because we have to – but because we choose to.
Jesus is a leader like that. No one is forced to be a Christian – and yet people all over the world choose to follow Jesus because they’ve decided all by themselves that Jesus is someone whose life and teachings are worth copying.
Following a leader like Jesus isn’t always an easy job – and if you listen carefully that’s what you’ll hear him tell the disciples today. He reminds them that being his followers will sometimes mean choosing to do things other than the things they want. It might mean taking care of someone else’s needs when you’d really like to take care of your own. And it might mean deciding not to do something that would make you feel good because you know it’s just not the right thing to do. Will you listen for that today?
Will you be my followers again? (Fold hands for prayer.) Let’s pray.
We are your followers, not because we have to be but because we choose to be. Give us the strength to put aside our selfish ways and follow your example as we live day to day.
Copyright 2008, Dan Wuori. Used by permission.