“Be a leader; You were made to be a generation changer”. I remember hearing these words endlessly in church or at youth group. My pastors would talk about the importance of making disciples and being a light in this dark world. I remember hearing these words but never truly understanding them. What does that even look like to “be a leader”? As I got older, I understood that being a leader entailed being held to a higher standard or being put on a pedestal because others are now looking up to you.
As Christains, we are called to be leaders wherever we are; We are called to look to Jesus as our example and be that example in everything we do. A leader is defined as one who leads a group of people or a community and being a teacher is the perfect example of being a leader. As a teacher I have the opportunity to lead these kids towards Christ in my actions.
This semester I am learning all about what being a leader truly entails. You see, we lead based on what our thoughts and focus is on. If my thoughts are on Christ then I will automatically lead in that direction. However, if they are on other things or things of this world, then that is how I will lead and furthermore, that is where I will lead my students to. I am learning that the key to being a leader is to first analyze where my focus is. My focus should not be my students. My students are human and will fail me every time. I cannot put my focus on their success or failure. In order to truly lead them well, my focus has to be on Christ alone. Christ will never fail me. He alone will determine my students’ success and if I am focused on Him, then he will give me the power and strength to lead them well.
I am understanding that leading also means leading by example. My students would never believe me if I told them that Jesus is my peace if I am constantly getting frustrated at them or letting anger get the best of me. How would my students see the peace of the Lord through me if my focus was not him? The kids are watching me at all times. It is ok if I get frustrated or upset at times but it is vital that in those times, my focus is still on the Lord because those times can be used as an opportunity to lead them closer to God’s grace.
Teaching has been the most humbling thing I have ever experienced. I am starting to understand why my pastors and youth group leaders would really hone in on this message. Having eighteen tiny humans look up to me, anticipating my every move, has helped me see the importance of leading. Depending on what my focus is on, I could either lead these students towards Christ or away from him. Therefore, being a leader and follower of Christ means keeping my focus on Jesus at all times, in every situation and allowing him to give me the wisdom and strength to lead well.
If you’d like to support Philem as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!