Giglio on the Little Leader

In his book i am not but i know I AM, pastor, speaker, and author Louie Giglio notes the ministry of John the Baptist as a model for pointing away from ourselves to Christ. Giglio’s description of John as a “little leader” captures the mindset that ought to characterize all followers of Christ. This is a good word from John 3:30:

“John didn’t politely say, ‘He should increase.’ Or, ‘I want Him to increase.’ John’s confession was not about tipping his hat to the Son of God. Rather it was an expression of focused determination, a calculated purpose statement for life and ministry. It’s as if John was saying:

‘No matter what else happens there’s one thing that has to take place—one thing that must happen—and the one thing that must happen is that Jesus must emerge and expand in the hearts and affections of people. He must be elevated, honored, exalted, focused on, cherished, enjoyed, amplified, and adored by all people everywhere.’

John’s mission was simple and clear: Jesus must increase, and I must decrease. Convinced and aware that Jesus was center stage in the story, John found great joy and compelling purpose in pointing others to Him. His is the voice of the ‘little leader,’ a man so blown away by the privilege of knowing God personally that he couldn’t be distracted by petty clashes and glory wars.

Jesus was a on a meteoric rise. In the short time since His baptism by John in the Jordan, Jesus had called disciples and established a core team, performed the first recorded miracle at a wedding up the road in Cana, and spoken to Nicodemus in the night about being born again, uttering the words of John 3:16—words that have become the most well-known in Scripture. Jesus was clearly in a league of His own. But sadly, John’s followers had been so busy trying to protect their turf they failed to notice that the kingdom had landed in the neighborhood. That kind of myopic, ‘it’s all about me’ vision, is the crippling by-product of not knowing who He is and who we are not, a truth John embraced and championed.

‘The one who comes from above is above all,’ the Gospel records. ‘The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.’

In John’s mind he wasn’t losing his people to a bigger ministry. He was just doing what he came to do—holding wide the door for the arrival of heaven’s King.” (94-95)

John’s selfless, Christ-exalting attitude is precisely what is called for in the lives of those who seek to make disciples. Even if you’re not a leader, the temptation is strong to put “me” at the center of your life and your affections. But as Louie Giglio reminds us, this is not what we were created for. We were created to make much of Christ.

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