Like children in school play follow the leader through the halls, so we adults follow leaders in our lives. We have people we emulate and want to be more like. We have people we admire and closely watch how they live to see if we can glean tips on how we can live.
It is very important to choose wisely who we follow. Scripture reminds us that “bad company corrupts good character (I Cor 15:33)”. Not only do we have to choose wisely who we follow, but we must be mindful of those that we lead. Whether it is children in our homes, employees at work or friends who watch us and take cues for how to handle situations, we are all leading someone.
I have had the great privilege of following Pastor Omar Garcia to Kampala, Uganda, on three trips to Cambodia, and on numerous mission projects in the Houston area. Pastor Omar is a good leader.
If you spend enough time observing Omar you learn that he seeks out the poor and the marginalized wherever he is and does everything in his power to help them. He relies on the council of scripture to guide decisions. He is careful to slow down and look at people in the eyes. He is a lifelong learner and is always seeking to learn more about the world and the needs of people. Probably my favorite characteristic of Pastor Omar is his firm resolve to take the Great Commission seriously. He has dedicated his life to sharing the gospel around the world and as a result he has led a generation of us following behind him.
I believe Pastor Omar, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has transformed the people of Kingsland to mobilize to meet needs locally and abroad. He has empowered us to not wait for a church initiative, but rather to jump in and meets needs in our community using the resources that God has given us.
Omar is an ordinary man who has chosen to live extraordinarily. And there are thousands coming behind him to take the charge to Go Beyond to our Jerusalem, our Judea and to the very ends of the earth.
Though Omar is not with us on this trip, his leadership continues to guide our steps as we continue to Go Beyond in Cambodia. We have watched him over the years and we know what to do.
As Christ followers, Jesus is our ultimate leader, but what a blessing to have great men and women in the faith to practically guide us in our mission to love God and love people wherever we are.