Becoming a Trusted Leader – Good Shepherd?
Key Bible Verse: He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out … he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. – John 10:3-4
Bonus Reading: John 10:1-15
My wife and I were listening to a tour guide in Israeli-occupied Palestine describe the ancient shepherd/sheep relationship. The shepherd, he explained, doesn’t need to drive the sheep. He can lead them. That is because he feeds and gently cares for them, causing them to respond to his voice.
He then told how, while giving the same spiel on a previous tour, he suddenly realized he’d lost his audience. They were staring out the bus windows at a guy chasing a “herd” of sheep—throwing rocks at them, whacking them with a stick, and siccing the sheep dog on them.
The guide told us he was so agitated about having his enchanting narrative torpedoed that he jumped off the bus, ran into the field, and accosted the man, “You’ve just done me in! I was telling these tourists about the gentle ways of shepherds, and here you are hounding and assaulting these sheep! What gives?”
The sheep-chaser’s bewildered expression turned to comprehension. “Man, you’ve got me all wrong,” he blurted out. “I’m not a shepherd. I’m a butcher!” Unwittingly, this poor fellow had just provided a perfect example of what a “good shepherd” is not.
—Lynn Anderson in They Smell Like Sheep
My Response: What have I done to earn the trust of those I’m to lead?
Thought to Apply: A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself. —Joel Barker
Adapted from They Smell Like Sheep (Howard, 1997)