Posted on 11.10.2014
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” Philippians 3:17 (NKJV)
This verse has always intrigued me.  It’s a pretty bold statement from the Apostle Paul.  Paul is basically saying, “Hey guys, follow my lead.  I’ll show you how to do this Faith thing.” 
You and I may say, “Well that is just great! Good for Paul. He was blinded by the light and called by Jesus himself so he was special. However, that is not something I need to say or even think.”  I felt the same way for a long time…until recently.  So today, I want to speak to this topic of “leading”, and hopefully encourage you all by giving you some thoughts/struggles I have in the area of leadership.

When I first started my own group (EHSS in 2002), I remember a colleague of mine in the music business saying, “Ernie, you will do well.  You are a natural-born leader.” To which I laughed and said, “Not really; I just like singing in a quartet and if I’m going to continue this dream, I’m going to have to start my own group”.  (The Cathedral Quartet had just retired in December of 1999.) Believe it or not, I NEVER thought about it (leadership) much more than that.  Seriously, I was just following a dream.

When you live under the blessing of others, (mom, dad, grandparents, bosses, etc.), there is a certain “covering” that comes along with it. When I lost my “covering”, I had to grow into a role I really didn’t desire or even realize existed. And honestly, it did not happen overnight.  I made many, MANY mistakes along the way.  Even today, what keeps me up at night is not so much the music. It’s the mission.  How can I grow more and more?  How can I lead?  How can this flawed and sometimes out-of-control wild-child be capable of leading people to higher levels of living and giving? How can I lead when I am as capable of missteps and hypocrisy as anyone under my area of influence?  What I did not care about then, I care deeply about now.  So, I look to the Master …

When Jesus was about to go back to the Father, he sent the disciples out two by two.  Mark 6:7 - Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two…  He had to get them ready for the day when He would not be with them.  Up until then, He had taught them, fed them, led them and maybe even coddled them. He was their everything. However, I believe Jesus knew that the only way they were ever going to grow into the men they were destined to be was for Him to leave. Jesus had to leave for them to lead.

“Jesus had to leave for them to lead.”

When Jesus, The Master, left the disciples, they then stopped arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom and started going about modeling the SPIRIT of whom Jesus was and what He was about.  I am not saying I am leaving, or that you should leave and walk away, but what I am saying is this…we should always have the mindset of leaving our spirit behind.
So here’s a question for you today: do you have a spirit?  Yes, you most certainly do!  Are you going live forever?  No, you most certainly will not.  It is most important now that we realize that life is not about building things and growing things and making a mark.  The greater good is about leaving a wake of amazing influence wherever you go.
Long after you leave this world (or the room), your life will outlive your bodily presence.  I now have a new attitude and mantra and it is what I want to inspire you with today: “How I lead today is how others will live tomorrow.”  WOWZA!  Did you get that? Listen to it again…

“How I lead today is how others will live tomorrow.”

You may not want this role, but guess what?  It’s not up to you! You are a leader of someone.  Someone is looking at you today. You may never know it, but they are.  You may think I’m just making this up to motivate you.  Trust me friend, I’m not.  And when you realize this universal truth, you will sober up, too.  You will want to lead correctly because you finally realize your legacy is not the “things” you leave behind, but your “spirit” that you leave behind.  You WILL live forever in more ways than one.  So, step up in love and LEAD!  In word and deed say, Follow Me.

Oh, What A Savior!