"At once they left their nets and followed Him." -Matthew 4:20
What makes a great follower? Why should we be great followers? Becoming a selfless follower is one of the biggest proving grounds for becoming a leader. We need to learn to lay down our own agenda. A great follower will more than likely produce a great leader. Conversely, poor followers make poorer leaders.
Jesus was the greatest example of serving his followers by laying down his life. He did the most menial task you could have done back in those days as an act of service to them; he washed their feet.
"He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 'No,' said Peter, 'you shall never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' - John 13:6-8
Simon McIntyre, in his book Follow the Leader states, "...people who grasp at leadership and try to bypass the apprenticeship of followership only demonstrate their misunderstanding of the purpose of leading." He goes on to say, "(Servants) are strong, intelligent, confident people living successful lives. They are able and willing to take on roles of service because they are confident in themselves and not so insecure as to feel that taking on sometimes menial tasks might be beneath their dignity. They are following the example of Jesus..."
We might think of serving another person as demeaning and self-effacing. This is in fact the point of serving - to get past ourselves.
Elisha followed Elijah. Joshua followed Moses. Joseph served Potiphar. The disciples followed Jesus. Sometimes we need to lay down our agenda in order for God to truly birth His plan and purpose in us. One of the ways He does this is through calling us to serve another man's vision. We need to realize it is not all about us.
Who are you following right now? Are you serving them to the best of your gifts, talents, and abilities?