Can you think of anything more humbling, perhaps more intimidating, than the reality that others are following us? There are times that I try to get my son Liam to copy me - words that I say, motions that I do, activities I perform. There are other times that he copies me without any encouragement - and as cute as this can be at times, it is a solid reminder that his little eyes are always watching. As I, in many ways, picked up so very much from my dad, so Liam will learn much from me. Will it be good? What kind of example am I setting for him? It really makes me think.
The Apostle Paul had much to say about setting examples as leaders and exercising caution as to those whom we might follow. Specifically in 1 Corinthians 4:15-16, he writes, "For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, imitate me." Paul distinguishes himself from others that may have been vying for the Corinthians' attention and allegiance as the one who led them to faith in Christ. As such, he invites them to follow him. Later on in the same letter (11:1), Paul says, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ."
Let this brief reminder that there are those following your lead - a humbling reality - drive you to a fresh commitment to remain locked in step with Jesus. May our steps as pastors lead every person following us along the straight and narrow path to pleasing and glorifying our Father in Heaven.