Courageous Follower Day | JOY for Today

Being labeled a follower is not generally desirable. But, if the leader you courageously follow is truly good, then following will overflow into unspeakable JOY.

A sidewalk fading into the sunrise through a meadow. Text overlay quotes John 8:12.
Courageous Follower Day | March 4th Annually

JOY for Today Offerings:


Did You Know:

  1. The traditional hierarchical style of leadership is fading? Organizations are encouraged to adapt to the needs of their followers instead of expecting followers to adapt to the expectations of leadership. (
  2. There are five distinct followership styles? According to Robert E. Kelley's model, the followership styles are: stars, or actively engaged critical thinkers; "yes" people, or actively engaged noncritical thinkers; sheep, or noncritical thinkers who require constant direction; alienated, or critical thinkers with low engagement, and pragmatics, or people who will engage when they see the benefit. (Bethel.eduArmy University Press, & Kelley)
  3. Most people consider themselves exemplary followers? 85-90% of people asked, place themselves in this category. Evaluating yourself honestly will help you identify the work environment that best suits you. (
  4. A list of desirable characteristics for good followers exists? In his book The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders, the basis for Courageous Follower Day's existence, Ira Chaleff notes that good followers: partner with their leaders to work toward a shared purpose; are passionate about what they do and who they serve; respectfully question harmful ideas, statements, or behavior in others - no matter their rank; seek performance feedback and work on growing their skills; insure personal interests align with the organization's mission. ( & National Today)
  5. The best way to cultivate healthy followership is by building strong relationships? Seek to understand each person for who they are and let them know who you are too. It's about being known by them while getting to know them. Then, learning how the relationships all work together. (

We'd Love to Know:   

Which type of follower are you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Throughout the halls of my middle school hung posters that read:
"In a world full of followers, dare to be a leader."

Which my friends and I reversed and frequently recited to each other mockingly:

"In a world full of leaders, dare to be a follower."

But now, reflecting as an adult, I think we had it right. 

Too many of us insist on leading, and it causes conflict - not cooperation. Not enough of us are willing to step down and disengage. We all want our own platform - our own throne room - a place where we get to make our own rules and pass our own judgements. And such thrones are readily available.

Having established our own private kingdoms, we white-knuckle our position of power - trusting in our superiority and worthiness. Much like the Assyrian king of Isaiah 10, we gaze over our kingdoms with pride, listing off each accomplishment achieved by the strength of our hands. We reflect on how far our wise decisions have led us and comfort ourselves by believing that we understand exactly how to get what we want out of life. We think things are going well for us, so why would we surrender? 

But, the truth is, we do not even truly understand what good is. (Romans 7:18, Proverbs 28:26Jeremiah 4:22 & Mark 10:18)

For us to truly disengage and step off our faulty thrones, we need to find a leader we can rely on. A leader with:

  • wisdom and understanding
  • counsel and might
  • knowledge and shared purpose
  • the ability to judge fairly
When we find a leader such as this, we feel confident handing over control and stepping off our thrones. We ask Him to take over. To let Him decide. To lead us in righteousness. 

And it frees us to follow.

The above attributes describing an ideal leader are found in Isaiah. This leader has a name: "And He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 11:2-4; Isaiah 9:6)

I have found my leader, the one I courageously follow, and I pray you come to follow Him, too.

In response:

  1. List all the kingdoms you belong to (i.e. family, work, hobbies, etc). Who influences you within each one? Set guidelines to help you determine when you need to stop following a person. Commit to pruning your follow list according to the standards you set on a regular basis. Consider extending this exercise to social media. Ultimately, is God your king over every one of your personal kingdoms?
  2. Join us as we study Isaiah. This week, we read about the promise of the coming Prince of Peace around whom all earth rallies to courageously follow and then responds in JOYful praise for the great things He has done.

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses 

  • Use your word to lead me along the right way. Do not let sin rule over me. Psalm 119:133 EASY
  • So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don't veer off to the right or left. Walk straight down the road God commands you so that you'll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you're about to possess. Deuteronomy 5:33 MSG
  • Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 ESV
  • "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 KJV
  • And unless you are willing to take up your cross and follow me, you are not fit to be my disciples. Matthew 10:38 CEV
  • If it is evil in your sight to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh. Joshua 24:15 LSB


  • "No one rules if no one obeys" - David Icke
  • "When everyone has a microphone, you can't hear anything. Choose one voice carefully and listen in." - Richie Norton
  • "For many of us, it's just one thing standing in our way of completely following Jesus." - Craig Groeschel
  • "You cannot be Christ's servant if you are not willing to follow him, cross and all. What do you crave? A crown? Then it must be a crown of thorns if you are to be like him. Do you want to be lifted up? So you shall, but it will be upon a cross." - Charles Spurgeon
  • "You find that the things you let go of while following Jesus were the things that were going to destroy you in the end." - Francis Chan

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote inspires you to follow?

Activity Suggestions

Who You Follow and Why

  • Journal Prompt: Think about a person you follow. Describe how you follow them and what motivates you to follow them. Would you recommend other people follow this person? Why or why not?
  • Literary Analysis: Read a book and identify leader/follower roles (like Sophia Valdez, Future Prez). List characteristics of the leader and follower. Were they good at their roles? Why or why not? How would it be different if the roles were reversed?
  • Social Emotional Learning: PLAY: "Follow the Leader." ASK: Which is more fun, when you are leading or following? DISCUSS: That there are times to lead and times to follow. Give examples of each. RESPOND: Have learners describe a situation where they are equipped to lead and a situation where they are equipped to follow.
  • Team-Building: Work together to make a list of teamwork agreements. Brainstorm what a good follower looks like, sounds like, and what it feels like when everyone on the team is being a good follower. Choose at least three, but no more than five, followership agreements. Make a poster and refer to them at the beginning of each teamwork session. 

When to Stop Following and How

  • Journal Prompt: Think about a time you followed a person and should not have. Describe the situation. What happened because of your choice? 
  • Literary Analysis: Read a book (like Henny Penny) and identify a poor choice made. What was the motivation behind the choice? If anyone followed along with the poor choice, why did they and when should they have stopped? What action could the character have taken to make a better choice?
  • Social Emotional Learning: SHARE this thought: "The people we spend time with shape the person we are becoming." ASK: How do you know when you should stop following someone? (i.e. When it's harmful.) BRAINSTORM a list of things to say or do when you need to stop following someone. (i.e. No. I'm not going to do this. Then walk away.)
  • Team-Building: Form a support team. Start by sharing what you want to stop doing (feeling fear, showing anger, being worried, staying alone, etc.). Then, think about what helps you conquer the struggle. Make a list of each other's struggles and supports. Pledge to support each other by being honest about your emotion, allowing others to help you, and willingly supporting when someone asks you to.

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Courageously follow a classmate who is leading you to make new friends or try a new sport?
  • Follow someone you trust but not know where you're going or follow someone you don't know through an activity you know well?
  • Offer a new suggestion to the person who is leading or change what you wanted to do based on the suggestion of someone you are leading?
These questions are unique to this post. If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every March day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint or get it (for free!) at our TPT store.

Take on the Family Challenge

Have a discussion on being a good follower. Ask why it matters. Throughout the week, share observations of good followership in practice and its contribution to the outcome. At the week's end, share times you each took on a leadership role and a followership role. Describe the emotions, fulfillment, and struggles of each.

We'd Love to Know:

If you consider yourself more of a follower or a leader.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. 

Your Partners in JOY Finding,
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Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.

*Image credit: Road by CapeCom at Pixabay


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