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Proverbs 26:2, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by
flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.”
There is always a reason. There
is in life recipes for every facet of life. Our God is such a meticulous
creator. All one has to do is to observe and absorb all of natures’ wonders.
The physical body of a human being certainly is wonderfully and miraculously
The curse causeless shall not
come according to the word of God. Therefore it is necessary for those who lead
others of us to realize the tremendous responsibility to succeed in that
However, there is a downward
spiral that occurs among leadership that just must not happen. Too many
literally sink their leadership and take with them their followers because of
these steps of demise.

Passion cannot exist without an
eternal truth to bring continual fuel to that passion. Leaders are passionate
people immersed in a truth and are intrinsically motivated while being
extrinsically challenged. 

No challenge is too great and no obstacle too big
that passionate beings living for a truth cannot overcome. Every one must have
some thing that is bigger than themselves that will lift them out of themselves
to do something greater than themselves.
Behind the success of every great
leader is the being captured by a truth. The truth overshadows all conflicts
and overcomes all struggles. Leaders cannot remain leaders without conviction
baptized in passion. This passion will turn a timid man into a lion and deliver
meekness without weakness.
The truth goes to the very heart
of the leader and he exudes emotion because of it. He cannot wait to share this
truth and to excite others about this truth. The leader leads others to a truth
that has captured his heart and life. He grows beyond the exhorting to
Those whom choose to be apart of
this action are only initially involved because of the embodiment of truth in
the life of this leader. The results begin to draw and the fascination of the
incredible work makes the leader a hero to many.
The excitement and enthusiasm of
the leader is internally based and needs not to have the validation of the
external. To him the external is a bonus. To him the obeying of truth is in
itself a reward. When he sees something come of his embracing of a truth it is
so exciting he cannot wait to share it with others hoping they will enjoy not
the fruits but the labor that brings such inward satisfaction.
The sad truth is though the ones
who are attracted to him are attracted to the external result and not the
internal resolve. It is the obeying of a truth and living for that truth that
has brought about the blessings of that truth. The leader’s obedience has
brought about in due time a result, but he still revels in the existence of the
truth and his discovering of that truth.
This excitement is contagious.
Unfortunately the excitement of the follower is based on the external and not
the internal. Truth will set a man free through obedience so he cannot be
fettered and bond by it so he is free to move on to the next truth. 

Many a
businessman has been enthralled with the life of a Russell Anderson or a C. T.
Studd or an R. G. LeTourneau only to find it to be an elusive dream for him.
The dream has turned into a nightmare for some.
The excitement of any leader is
because he has discovered a truth in life that he is excited about which turns
his work into his play. He then because of the eventually blessings of his
labor in that truth attracts attention. The attention however is rarely to the
truth, but to the results of the obedience of that truth.
Dr. Jack Hyles told me one time
that thousands have come to his Pastors’ Schools and only a hand full actually
caught the truth that captured his life and created his passion. The attraction
is to that which became seen while many ignored the unseen that made it all

A Dr. Hyles’ prayer life, hours of study, thousands of counseling
sessions, fasting, observing great men, seeking the common denominator of the
individual rather than the crowds, paying his bills ahead of time, 80 hour work
weeks, organization of staff, hours of personal soul winning, organizing Sunday
school staffs, overseeing the schools, and overseeing the college are usually
unseen by the seeker of greatness.
It seems the work of obeying the
truth is paying off and those who choose to follow are responding. The church
begins to grow. The business begins to grow. The Sunday school class begins to
grow. The Sunday school bus route begins to grow. The followers are responding
and it is a joyful thing to see others see what you see.
This all comes about because the
leader is captured by a truth and the truth develops passion in the leader. He
obeys that truth and his work turns into play. He would rather work than eat or
play. He gives his life to this truth and finds an inward satisfaction that
needs no outward affirmation. He loves what he is doing for he is obeying the
truth that captured him.
Soon as time moves along he sees
results from his obedience to that truth. He is attempting to reproduce himself
in those who have chosen to follow him in his quest to obey truth. The leader
delivers his obedience to truth with excitement in his voice and his life. 

Others see the excitement and note the enthusiasm. They are intrigued by what
they see and the attraction is the results and not the truth. However, some are
diligent and observant enough to investigate further to find out it is truth at
the bottom of all of this excitement.

Then the “Amens” begin to come
from the congregation to the pulpit. Soon, the followers are echoing a verbal
response of excitement. This is new to the leader for he had never noticed them
before because he was always focusing on obeying the truth that captured him. 

He wanted others to become excited also, but he never thought about any thing
big coming of this for his work had become his play. He enjoyed what he was
doing via this truth.
Soon this leader becomes use to
the excitement of the congregation or the followers. Soon he is excited about
the excitement of others over the truth that captured him. He assumes they are
all captured by the same truth when in reality most of them are caught up in
the results of that truth.
It is so easy to become attracted
to the attractiveness of results and not value the attractiveness of
responsibility to truth. For the bottom line is the truth that captured the
leader and the obedience to that truth that brought about the initial joy and
satisfaction of that leader.
Many a successful pastor has built
something great because of a great truth and allowed the results to become
overwhelmingly the main thing. This all came about because of truth and the
satisfaction that obedience to that truth brought to the leader.
The preacher says after making an
emphasis on a point in his sermon, “Well, somebody say amen?” However, one day
there is a weaker response than normal. Over a period of time the pastor begins
to question what is wrong with the congregation, when the truth is he has
shifted his satisfaction from obeying truth to being satisfied with the
followers response to his delivering the truth.
Example of a leader has far more
of an impact on the follower than the exhortation of a leader. You see it all
started with the leader discovering a truth and then finding satisfaction in
obeying that truth. However, after living for that truth brought about results
and the attracting of others to the results with few being attracted to the
truth that started it all, demise began.
For 3 decades, every Sunday of the
world, I had one of my converts down the aisle and baptized. I spent on an
average of 15 hours a week giving the Gospel to 15 different people. I am not
saying that all 15 trusted Christ, but I did have a goal of at least 5 converts
lined up by Saturday night to come to church with me on Sunday. 

Bend, Indiana, I hit the altar, after hearing Dr. John R. Rice and Dr. Jack
Hyles, vowing to be a personal soul winner. 45 years later I am still having on
an average of one soul saved a day. I was captured by a truth, excited by that
truth, impassioned about that truth, attracted others to the results of that
truth, and some even were attracted to the truth itself.
I was always cognizant of the
fact to allow the obedience to that truth is my passion and not the followers’
applause or Amens be the fuel for my passionate search for the unsaved.
I love the amens of a
congregation, but I love the truth more than their response. You see truth is
greater than family, friends, business associates, or position. I do not live
for a position for I live for a purpose. You may and probably will not hold
your position, but you can always hold on to a purpose.
Many a pastor has asked with deep
concern how was I doing since retiring from pastoring. At first I thought there
was something wrong with me for I did not have a sense of remorse or buyer’s
remorse for I did what God wanted me to do. 

I knew that when the church called
my son, Dr. Bob Gray II, to be their pastor that they were in the hands of a
man who already loved them and cared for them. You see for 21 years he was the best Youth Director in the nation and had a deep love for Longview Baptist Temple of Longview,
When a leader lives for a purpose
then the position does not really matter to him. Do you know congregations sometimes fire pastors? Do you know Mr. businessman that
companies sometimes fire their employees? I simply state this for when you are
so obsessed with your position and you live off of the excitement of the those
who follow you one day if you lose your position you will die on the inside.

I refuse to live off of the
response of those who follow me or listen to me preach for truth is more
important than applause or accolades. One day you will have to decide would you
rather have God’s approval or man’s approval and if you have begun to live off of
the approval of man you will one sad leader.
When a leader lives off of the
response of the followship then he is no longer the leader. In the Bible there
is a teaching of
“mutual faith.” In this God gives us a little insight into the
leader follower relationship. The leader is in love with truth and receives his
satisfaction from obeying that truth. He looks around him and all of a sudden
there is someone else who is looking up toward that same heavenly truth. You
say to them, “You love soul winning too?” 

They respond, “Yes I do!” Thus you
have mutual faith. They are not attracted to you they are attracted to the
truth. Let that be the truth of Sunday school, King James Bible, standards,
prayer, missions, bus ministry, soul winning, etc., and you will find a crowd around you that was not
attracted to you but to the truth that you were attracted too.
Then if the leader is not careful
he will begin to live off of the follower’s faith and not his own faith in the
truth that excited him to begin with. This whole scenario began with a leader
being captured by a truth and in the obedience of that truth he found

The leader wasn’t worried about building the world’s largest church he
was concerned about keeping the next man, woman, boy, or girl out of Hell.
However, the leader begins to
cool off of his obedience to the truth because after all if he misses a week of
soul winning there will still be converts down the aisle and baptized for he
has so many more soul winners out on the streets now. Now the followship has
not leadership and they begin to fall to the level of passion of their leader.
When the leader ceases to be
enthralled by the truth and cools his obedience to that truth he then loses
satisfaction in proportion to his obedience. If the leader jumps 10 feet the
follower will most likely jump 5 or less feet. That is the reason they are not
the leader. Thus when the leader jumps 5 feet the followers will most likely
jump 2 ½ or fewer feet.
The thing that determines the
heighth of the jump of the leader is directly in sync with the obedience to the
truth that brings excitement. I do not care how you craft this for it all
depends upon the leader’s obedience to truth that results in enthusiasm that
fuels the obedience to that truth.
The bus ministry will live or die
on the passion of the leader not the follower. The godly music program will
live or die on the passion that fuels the obedience to the truth of godly
music. The soul-winning program will live or die based on the passion derived
from the personal obedience to soul winning by the leader. The standards of the
church will live or die based upon the personal obedience to the truth of Bible
There is nothing as pathetic as a
leader who has a form of godliness, passion, conviction, drive, concern, and
power while yet denying the godliness, passion, conviction, drive, concern, and
power inwardly. It is sad to see a leader go through the motion outwardly and
obviously is dying inwardly.
When the leader resigns inwardly
he has to recognize it is not all over. I don’t care if the fat lady does sing
you can still have fresh oil. It is the return to the truth that will
invigorate the soul of the leader. It is the obedience to that truth that
started this wonderful journey and adventure. It was the obedience to truth
that brought with it internal satisfaction. 

It really didn’t matter what the
results were for you were obeying truth. It really didn’t matter what others said
for you were obeying truth. You had an indescribable inner peace of
When it is you, the leader, and
truth being obeyed, Hell itself cannot stop you. You may have transferred your
obedience to truth to living off of the excitement of the followers to that
very truth, but you can come back to that same truth and obey it once again.
Unfortunately some leaders have
traded obedience to truth for fame, a platform, an honorary doctorate, a large
love offering, famous friends, or applause.
leader is captured by a truth
leader is excited by that truth
leader delivers that truth with excitement
leader excites others with that truth
followers respond to that truth
leader becomes excited about the followers excitement
leader then lives off of the followers excitement
leader transfers leadership to followship based on the excitement and not the
followship has no leadership and the follower cools off
Both the
leader and the follower become cold
leader resigns inwardly
Most of
the time the leader resigns outwardly

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