A leader is someone who is trying to get people to follow him. That is what makes you a leader – when you have followers! If you are a leader, you must make sure that you have people following you.
Otherwise you are not a leader. In order to have a following, you must be able to relate with all kinds of people.
People vary in their views on God. People vary in their views on economics. People vary in their understanding of human behaviour.
People vary in their levels of education. People vary in their appreciation of beauty.
People vary in their understanding of different social issues. People vary in their interests.
A leader discovers that he is confronted with different people all the time.
“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts 10:28
Peter was so rigid in his understanding of leadership that he restricted his ministry to a small group of Jews. That immediately shrinks the number of followers you can have. But God had a bigger plan for him.
God wanted him to reach many other people. As you read this, I sense that God wants to give you a wider scope of ministry and a wider scope of people to relate to. Do not be myopic. Do not restrict yourself. Think about this: there are more people who are different from you than those who are like you!
You must realise that your “type” of person is a limited species upon this earth. You are not likely to find many people in your age group, with your background, colour or accent.
If you want to succeed as a leader, you must realise very early that you need to be able to relate with all kinds of people, especially people who are not like you. To the weak you must become weak, and to the strong you must become strong.
“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” 1 Corinthians 9:22,23
My father is from Ghana and my mother is from Switzerland and I have lived in Ghana all my life.
My colour is neither black nor white. When I was growing up, most of my friends had European parents or a mixture of white and black. This was because my mother is Swiss and, therefore, had many European friends.
My father was an unusual man. He loved classical music and played bridge and owned racehorses. Because of this, many of his friends were not Ghanaian. Many of his friends were British, Indians or Lebanese. As I grew up, my hobbies were table tennis, squash, horse riding and swimming.
Definitely, there are very few people in the world who have the same background that I have. This is not because I am special, but because this is an unusual combination of culture and circumstances.
If I have been raised up to be a leader, you tell me how many people will have a similar background to what I have just shared with you. Not many! To become a leader of many people, I must relate with people who do not have my background.
Many of my friends have had a very different background from their different circumstances. But I relate with them naturally and easily.If you are a pastor and you have a poor educational background, rise up and relate with all kinds of people, including the educated people.
Do not drive away all the educated people because of your lack of education. That will be unfortunate! You have many opportunities to change that situation.
You can educate yourself! You must be able to relate to the people who return your kindness with ingratitude. Jesus experienced ingratitude.
He was killed by a mob of Jews. As a leader, you will find out that the people you love can turn around and hurt you. It will not take you long to discover this. Do not look to people for gratitude. A leader looks to God for his rewards!
The Scripture teaches that your rewards depend on God and not on the people you helped. God is the only one who can reward you adequately. Do not expect much from people; expect your rewards from God.
“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” Ephesians 6:8
Do you consider yourself to be a leader? Then ask yourself this question: “What type of person am I? And what type of person am I not?” Answer these questions frankly. You are likely to be surprised at the answers.
But go ahead and make a decision to relate with every type of person and you will be amazed at what a following you will have. You must realise that your “type” of person is a limited species upon this earth.
Each individual is unique. Each person is likely to have some peculiarities. You are not likely to find many people in your age group, with your background, colour or accent.
You will notice that there are extents to which people are like you.
If you want to succeed as a leader, you must realise very early that you need to be able to relate with all kinds of people, especially people who are not like you. You must be able to relate with your “type”, as well as those who are not your “type”.
To the weak you must become weak, and to the strong you must become strong!