Led More By Jesus
In this 25th anniversary article, Hollis Kim (Arrow Class 3) reflects on the first disciples Jesus called to be with him, and how they were attentive, available and responsive to be led by him. Share this article with some friends who might be interested to cultivate, with you, an appetite and aptitude for being led more by Jesus.
In Mark 1:16-20, Jesus invites four fishermen to follow him on a journey – a journey of being led by Jesus, becoming a new person. This invitation is a calling, a vocation, first to be with him. Jesus gives no details, no specifics about where he is going, but he does make this intriguing promise: “I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women…”
This call of Christ is an invitation to relationship, student-hood and follower-ship.
These first invitees of Jesus immediately and unquestioningly responded. They dropped everything they were doing, leaving behind all that was familiar: their identity, their work/business, their family and prosperity. Jesus was so compelling, they left it all.
What can we learn from these first followers about being led more by Jesus?
They were attentive and available to Jesus. When Jesus approached them, these men gave him their time and attention. They turned from their everyday work, towards him with their full, un-distracted attention. They granted Jesus access to themselves, making space to consider his words. They were available to be interrupted by his unusual invitation to join him in doing something very different from their life plans. This simple sequence of turning away from activity, and turning towards Christ, promotes being led more by Jesus.
Our non-stop world splinters attentiveness to Christ. The emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness, the drive to produce more can possess and even destroy us if we let it. Devotion to productivity can eclipse devotion to our Creator; passionate commitment to the work of God through us, can also decimate the work of God in us.
Pete Scazzero reminds us, “Jesus said it simply: If we remain in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (i.e. not so much holding a position, but allowing ourselves to be held). If we don’t, we won’t give anything lasting or substantial.”
These fishermen also displayed a disposition to submission. They exhibited an inclination to allow Jesus’ words to impact their priorities and activity, putting Christ’s command to follow him front and center. They displayed a tendency to lean towards Jesus. Something about him was so attractive that they stopped their work to begin his.
These are tough, hard-working individuals who depended on themselves for their livelihood. They seem self-sufficient, even entrepreneurial in business as James and John leave their father and employees behind. Yet, something about Jesus drew them to follow, so this readiness to respond to Christ has a divine tenor to it. Being led by Jesus grants him authority and control; he initiates, we respond; he commands, we obey.
As Christian leaders, we must grow in being with Jesus; our primary fidelity is to him. Our giftedness, passion, and commitment to serving God is preceded and informed by being increasingly led by Jesus as Lord, Teacher and Leader.
How can we cultivate an appetite and aptitude for being led more by Jesus? May our longing to be led more by Jesus increase this year.
For further reflection:
- In recent days, what has Jesus been inviting you to turn away from? How is he calling you to turn towards him; not doing for him, but being with him?
- In the next 21 days, what practice could you take to stimulate your hunger to be led more by Jesus? Ask a mentor, spiritual director, or friend to help.
Hollis Kim completed the Arrow Leadership Program with Class 3 and serves as the Senior Pastor at Good Shepherd Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. He is married to Sue and they are parents to two young men.