Ready to Follow, Ready to Lead: A Word to the 2013 Leadership Team

Among other things, Nathanael is about leadership. Our mission is to raise up young men to be Christ-following leaders for the Kingdom. Nathanael has been doing that for more than 50 years. Hundreds of men point to their Nathanael experience as the foundation of their life of leadership. Wherever they lead now, they look back at Nathanael as the laboratory where they learned and practiced leadership.

You are a leader. You can point to many influences in your life that have contributed to your growth. And now, with one or more seasons at camp under your belt, Nathanael has contributed to your growth, too, probably in a significant way. You have studied leadership. You’ve talked about leadership. You’ve practiced leadership. Dozens of campers, along with fellow noncoms and staff have observed your leadership and learned from it. You’re a leader and there’s no going back.

The flip side of leadership is following. We’re all required to be followers in some aspects of our lives. First, of course, we follow Christ. But we follow in other areas of our lives, too. No matter what your position is in ministry, work or life in general you will have leaders whose direction you are asked to follow. Now that you’ve tasted leadership you also know some new things about what makes a great follower.

I want to say three things about being a leader, and three things about being a follower.

About being a leader:

  1. Lead like Jesus. Jesus was a servant-leader. He has changed the lives of millions by being the ultimate servant. Be like that.
  2. Be a man worth following.  Commit yourself to living a life of Christ-like integrity. Do people speak well of you? Determine to be the kind of man people think you are
  3. Leadership is a gift. A spiritual one. God has given it to you to use for his purposes.


About being a follower:

  1. Follow Christ first.
  2. Be careful who else you follow. Be careful who you allow to influence your life and who you model yourself after. Choose your mentors wisely.
  3. Once you commit to following, be faithful.

ives were changed this summer. Dozens of them. Your leadership made that happen. Thanks.


Mark Watkins

Executive Director