My mom used to get on to us as kids whenever she said something, and we responded with a “huh?” She would be like, “huh is not a response. And besides, I know you heard me!” The truth is, we probably did. (Since she reads these, I’m sure you’ll hear an audible WOO HOO outside her office when she reads this one.) I can also promise you that in a crowd of a thousand people, we could hear our mom yelling our names. There’s just something about her voice that seemed to rise above all others. Ken Munday, one of the FPU team leaders here at our office, has a specific whistle that his wife and three girls know. I’ve seen it in action, and it’s so cool. He doesn’t even get that loud, they hear it and turn around looking for Dad.
In John 10:4-5, he wrote about how sheep hear their shepherd’s voice, he goes out in front of them, and they follow. But they never follow a stranger, in fact they will run from the voice because they don’t recognize it. People are the same way as you can see in the previous paragraph. In fact, your people are that way. If you’re leading a team, or a family, you have to make sure that they know your voice. What are you doing each day to get your flock to know which voice to follow in the midst of chaos? As a leader, it is your responsibility to guide and direct. And to the extent that you’re not, you’re failing as a leader. To the extent that you are, well, you can turn around and see that you’re succeeding. I believe it was Andy Stanley who said that, “If you turn around and nobody is following you, you’re not leading!” (Somebody correct me if it was someone else.)
The flip side of that is for the flock. You have to spend time actually knowing the voice that guides you. My dear friend Ron Cook calls it, “The discipline of listening”. Obviously the passage is a metaphor for God and how if we are truly followers of Him, we will know His voice. And it’s my responsibility to spend every day working on hearing that voice. It’s not necessarily an audible voice either. Sometimes He speaks to us through people, or a sunrise, or the stillness of a moment. But there is one thing that I am certain of, He never stops speaking to us. We just have to spend time on the discipline of listening.
What things do you do as a leader of people, or a follower of Christ?