by Trey Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m not a particular connoisseur of marketing buzzwords, but I do take notice when advertisers and marketers make up stuff. I probably notice this more because I like to get creative in my own promotions and marketing (career with Southwestern Advantage).
Here’s a few examples of what I mean:
1) When I had my last few years of taxes reviewed at H&R Block in March, they had a sign that used the word “helpth”.
help + health = helpth
2) A rival direct selling company invited me to their headquarters for some friendly brainstorming. They used the word “coopetition” to describe our proposed collaboration.
cooperation + competition = coopetition
3) In a current Sprint promotion, they now have a “framily” plan.
friends + family = framily
4) Among other places I’ve heard this, Tina Fey uses the word “hangry” in a commercial for American Express. When you are hungry and it causes you to be angry, you become… you guessed it – hangry!
hungry + angry = hangry
5) By now, you may have figured out the odd and made up word in the title of this post: “Jegenda.”
Jesus + agenda = Jegenda
In the spirit of these word combos, I had planned to triumphantly stake claim to the new word – followship! Only… this seems to not be a new word. According to dictionary.com, it means: the practice of doing what other people suggest, rather than taking the lead.
Rats. I thought I was on to something here. Regardless, I will repurpose this existing word and give it a definition of my own spin! (This is why they call PR professionals “Spin Doctors”).
Leadership is the act of leading a group or an organization or the state of position of being a leader. Followship, on the other hand, is the act of following by example (maybe you’ve heard of leading by example). Leaders still need to be followers. No one ever masters the art of leadership. Nor does anyone master the art of followship… To be leaders through Christ, we must follow. Our following opens doors to allow us to be leaders through Christ. Leaders in faith. Leaders in worship. Leaders of men and women. Shepherds of our own flocks.
Followship involves patience. Many times, God has shown me it’s far better to follow and gain wisdom than to jump into leadership when not ready. On several occasions in the past, I would prematurely engage in conversation about leadership opportunities I could grow in to. It took me years to figure out I was doing what God wanted me to be doing and doing it where He wanted me to be doing it. To be in an accelerated position of leadership before I was ready would likely end in disaster. And I know it too. But that didn’t stop me from pursuing it. When the time is right, God will present opportunity – and when the time is right, I’ll be better prepared to take any reins I’m given.
While it may be near-impossible for us to calculate the cost due to a lack of followship, we should seek out the great sacrifices we must make for our faith. This is what it means to have total submission for a life of discipleship. We should be willing to give up the worldly and selfish things that contradict a true life of followship.