Recently a pastor told me that he had a "following" at the church where he serves.
Color me overly sensitive, if you will, but I was offended by the remark.
Sure, pastors are shepherds and leaders. But they are servant leaders.
Pastors point people to Jesus. It's in Jesus that there is forgiveness of sins, peace for mind and heart, the promise of eternal life.
Pastors get close to people so that so that they can apply the healing balm of the Gospel to broken hearts. They get close to people so that they can speak the Law to those who are going astray.
Pastors who brag about their following are putting the spotlight on themselves and not on Christ Jesus.
When ministry becomes a popularity contest, when the pastor with the biggest following is considered the best, then Christ loses His rightful place in the church.
John the Baptist once told some of his followers that he, John, should decrease so that Christ might increase.
Sounds like John was saying, "Follow Jesus, not me."
That's what every good pastor will tell his flock. Follow Jesus. Follow Jesus.