Be a Shepherd
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November 1, 2020
One of today’s church’s great needs is leadership, but not just any leadership—leadership by the book. The book I’m talking about is the Bible.
There are tens of thousands of titles on the subject of leadership from as many authors. The search for answering the question: How do I lead is sought by “want to be” leaders all the time.
John Maxwell summed it up by saying, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
George Barna has written several books detailing the challenges faced by today’s church. In one of those, he warned, “Despite the activity coming from thousands of
congregations, the Church in America is losing influence and adherents faster than any other major institution in the nation.” Then he predicted one of
two outcomes for our nation within the next few years: either “massive spiritual revival” or “total moral anarchy.” It all depends, he said, on whether the church can rouse itself to respond to our nation’s moral crisis. How does the church “ROUSE” itself? It takes LEADERSHIP!
The church needs leadership. I’m talking about leadership that guides the church to her God-given purpose. Where do we find this kind of leadership?
The Bible wasn’t written in a Hi-Tech culture’s context. It wasn’t written in a corporate culture’s context. Listen, the Bible was written in a world defined by farmers and sheep herders.
If we desire to define leadership by the Bible, we have to go to its context. God chose the title for leading the church, and he didn’t choose king, general, prophet, or prince. He chose shepherd, and that’s because this is the style of leadership, He desires for pastors to model. Ephesians 4:11 tells us the Jesus gave “pastors” to the church. The Greek word there for pastor also means “shepherd.”
Human beings were created and wired—to be led, NOT driven. The Bible refers to us as sheep. Our churches are occupied by sheep, and sheep need a shepherd.
Jesus is the greatest leader that ever walked the face of this planet. He called himself a shepherd in John 10, and in 1 Peter 5, we are reminded to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care….” Today’s church needs shepherds, not CEOs.
The psalmist writes that God chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep, he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands, he led them (Psalm 78:70–72). That word for “skillful hands” speaks of wisdom and understanding like the “men of Issachar.”
We are called to a calling—not a career. A career is what you get paid for, and a calling is what you’re made for. Be what you were made for—be a shepherd.