Rosey Grier is sketchy on the details. With good reason. The former NFL football player and Hollywood actor figures the particulars of the Lead Like Jesus Movement are best left to Jesus, the eternal nuts and bolts guy.
“I don't have a plan, because (Lead Like Jesus) is not mine,'' Grier said from his office in Los Angeles. “The thing is, I'm very cognizant that it's on Him. It's not an individual thing or a marketing plan or publicity plan. But it's on Him.''
No wonder then that when Grier describes his role in Lead Like Jesus, he gives a simple, “My part is to just do my part.''
That part involves serving people - and urban youth in particular - in any way that is needed.
Grier's others-centered philosophy dovetails nicely with the mission of Lead Like Jesus, a faith-based movement that grew out of the Center of FaithWalk Leadership. Lead Like Jesus bases leadership training on the life of Jesus and wants all leaders to adopt Him as their role model.
“I always said I wanted to serve my fellow man, and that's what this is,'' said Grier, whose journey from football linemen to Christian ambassador has spun in several different directions. “Lead Like Jesus is about people being a vessel to minister and encourage others to get going with their gifts and talents."
If that sounds a bit broad-based, well, that's exactly the point. Jesus, the best leader the world has known, knew exactly how to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and use their gifts to serve others while glorifying God.
“You don't have to go out and get skills and talents, but just develop what you already have and use them within the family of God,'' he said.
And so Grier's role at LLJ conferences (the next of which is scheduled for April 29 in Spartanburg, S.C.) is to “do whatever I bring to the table, to utilize that which I have to get other people inspired.''
It so happens that Grier brings a Thanksgiving dinner-sized wealth of ability to the table. The 71-year-old ordained minister also is an author, singer and spokesman for the elderly and inner city youth of America.
Grier had been working for years in the Los Angeles urban community when he met Ken Blanchard, co-founder of The Center for FaithWalk Leadership. Grier already had co-founded American Neighborhood Enterprises and Impact Urban America, which are a combination of real estate, development and construction companies committed to providing job training, employment, first-time buyer programs and affordable housing for the disadvantaged, underprivileged and at-risk persons in the inner cities of the nation.
Blanchard shared a similar vision and Grier, who saw Lead Like Jesus as a way to further reach the underprivileged.
“I looked for people to come on board with me,'' Grier said. “Ken Blanchard began to tell me about Lead Like Jesus ... and that was the kind of people I needed to associate with, who would be committed to helping people fulfill the dream, but in doing so to respect and honor God.''
Grier, who played 13 seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams, sees a correlation between football philosophy and the founding principles of Lead Like Jesus.
“As an athlete, I learned a very valuable key, that it takes a team to win,'' he said. “In everything, and in whatever we're doing, one person is not the key. The team is the key, and every person has great abilities and gifts with which to serve.'' Like in T-E-A-M, there is no “I'' in Jesus.
Tickets are now on sale for the next Lead Like Jesus Celebration, whichis set for First Baptist North Spartanburg, SC, Thursday, April 29, 2004. Tickets may be purchased by calling toll-free, 1-866-370-LEAD. Tickets may also be ordered online.
Read our profile of Rosey Grier here.