A mother cheetah brought a live gazelle fawn to her 5-month-old cubs and released it. After the cubs made several unsuccessful attacks, the mama cheetah intervened and showed them how to make the kill.

I observed a similar technique used by a life insurance salesman. After he told me about the benefits of a particular policy, he shared how much coverage he had for his own family. His words took on new meaning because he demonstrated by his own example how to insure a family adequately.

If we want to teach others the art of knowing God and serving Him, we can’t overemphasize the importance and the power of example. That’s how Christ and His apostles communicated the same message. Their obedience to God was seen in flesh-and-blood terms that were easily understood.

Leadership by example is contagious. When Paul mentioned the people in Thessalonica who had become “followers of us and of the Lord,” he said that they also “became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Th. 1:6-7).

Leadership is more than something that automatically goes with an official title like Dad, Mom, Sunday School Teacher, or Pastor. Those who want to lead and help others must first of all be examples.