As children, one of the first games we learn to play is “follow the leader.” As a child, I recall everyone fighting to be the leader. I think it is fair to say that as a society, we value “leaders” above “followers.” While it is true that all movements begin with a leader, as this humorous video demonstrates, it is the first followers who are key to any movement. Click here to view video.
In my post “A Tale of Two Women”, I share a vision of how we might mobilize more Christian’s to follow Christ and move beyond the pew and into transformative relationships with the most vulnerable in our world. In my allegorical tale, “Wanda” represents someone who has successfully moved beyond the sanctuary walls and who becomes “lived theology”; the “Body of Christ” in the world. I know a lot of “Wanda’s” and while they are unique, all of them followed someone else who set an example for them. They were all “first followers.” “Wanda’s” are key to the advancement of a any movement of faith.
We all need Wanda’s in our lives; people who challenge us to take our faith to the next level. Wanda’s come in all shapes, sizes, and genders. They come from both sides of the bridge; from every race, class and religious background. I have many Wanda’s in my life and I want to publicly recognize three who are shaping my life right now. Pat Henfling, my seventy-six year old Catholic spiritual mentor who introduced me to the value of silence and stillness in the Christian journey. Martha Rollins who has demonstrated grace under the tremendous pressures of being an Executive Director of the faith-based urban focused non-profit, Boaz and Ruth. And, Janie Walker my co-laborer who is teaching me the gift of creating space for reflecting and sharing life together.