Reading the Gospels at the moment. Just read John 10:11-13 where Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd.
This is one of those ultimate leadership markers for me, a distinguishing characteristic between leaders and would-be leaders. What would you do for the thing which you are responsible for? How far would you go?
Shepherds are willing to give it all. For sheep!
Leaders MUST be willing to give it all. For that which they lead.
It sounds really obvious…AND IT IS!! But it’s a truth which, if I dare be so bold, not many actually have the willingness to live up to. Many want to be shepherds/leaders/carriers of responsibility BUT don’t have the stomach for what WILL be demanded of them in that role.
This is a rally cry to all the ‘good’ people with some ‘great’ intentions. Those that step forward to take hold of responsibility but then seemingly just as quick, slip back whilst never pushing through to that next level. Jesus challenges us to ‘lay our life down’ and that even those excuses that can be deemed legitimate are just that, an excuse and by using them cause us to miss out on some life-changing opportunities.
Luke 9:57-62 and Matthew 10:37-39 both talk about this. Sometimes the words of Jesus were tough and people decided not to follow anymore. Now I don’t want that to be the case. I would rather people consider the cost before stepping into the ring.
Hired-hands give up when the going gets tough.
Hired-hands have the freedom to walk away.
Hired-hands don’t have the drive and determination to see it through.
Hired-hands are merely doing a job. They clock-in and clock-out.
Hired-hands know that they are not responsible and therefore act as though not responsible.
The Church, business, families – needs more than hired-hands. It needs one or two to say YES – we really are willing to grab hold of something, take responsibility and make IT happen. Build something. Change something. Create something.
Shepherds fight for it. You get tough when necessary.
Shepherds are compelled to act. You never really clock-out.
Shepherds understand they are responsible and act accordingly.
Shepherds carry the burden not because they have to but because the want to.
This is the essence of leadership.
I know which one I’d rather be and which one I’d rather be known as.
Calling ALL shepherds. Don’t let distractions cause you to abandon your post – we cannot afford for that to happen.
[Which are you? How can you tell?]