I was just watching tv, where former football coach Herman Edwards, speaking of his coaching days, said that he didn't set rules, he set expectations. A few days ago, I re-read the idea that leadership is nothing more than influence. I further think of my days in large national chain retailers, where, as a general rule, the persons holding supervisory positions were not persons who motivated loyalty, or even were even average leaders, but persons willing to volunteer for a position which brought a lot of grief to them for a very slight amount of extra money, and the carrot, usually never reached, of more money later.
In following Jesus, I desire to live as God would have me to by the guidance of the Holy Spirit inside me. I cannot prove that to the unbeliever. God has put inside me His expectations. Occassionally, I fail to live up to those, and I feel sorrow for those times. Its not a point of breaking a rule. In a sense, a feel anger for all the times I was taught man-made rules, sometimes by well-meaning fellow believers, sometimes by persons with other purposes. I don't even know who fits into which category, because, as Aslan the Lion says to the kids at the end of the Chronicles of Narnia, "It's not your story." Paul never referred to himself as the Apostle Paul, but as Paul, and used the word apostle to describe what he did. May dad was a farmer. He never stuck "Farmer" in front of his name. Conversely, Farmer Jack isn't a farmer, but a chain of groceries in the Detroit area.
I think of this because, later this morning, I will go to a traditional church where the sign on the road has, not only the name Pastor Joe XYZ, but Pastor Joe "Nickname" XYZ, where the nickname, if I said it, brings to mind one internationally famous person, and it isn't him. I'm not meeting him, I've never met him, and don't know what he looks like. I will guess that the reason I will go to this building is a reason he likes, but if not, at least allows. I will guess that he has some level of influence on my meeting with whomever, but it isn't direct. I will guess that he expects meetings such as mine to go smoothly. Its difficult to think of such things as leadership, but if it isn't truly more than influence, then, to some degree, it is.