According to Scripture, there were times when Jesus spoke to large crowds. We read about Jesus speaking to a large crowd in Matthew 5-7, for example.
But, were these people considered Jesus’ followers?
I don’t think so.
You see, being a follower (disciple) of Jesus required more than listening to him speak. Being a follower of Jesus required doing what he said and what he did. In other words, only those people who lived like Jesus lived where his followers (disciples).
What about today? Who are following you? Are the the people sitting in the audience when you speak or preach followers? Are the people who are reading your books or articles or blog posts your followers?
Or, are you truly only leading those people who are following the example of your life?
Since Jesus said that leaders among the church are those who serve the most, then your followers are those who are following your example and serving others… assuming you are serving others.