A Good Shepherd

Part of what I do for a living is leadership development. If you’ve worked for very long, you can think of leaders that you’ve admired and have helped you, and you can think of some that were only looking out for themselves. I’ve had leaders in my life who would ask me, “What’s next for you and how can I help you get there?” They were proactive in helping me reach my goals, gave me tools to succeed and showed the way. Their door was always open because they understood that when you’re leading people, you need to be accessible. One of the key things I talk to leaders about is the importance of visibility. It lets others know you’re there. It conveys that you’re in this together as well. People work harder for someone who is in the trenches with them and organizations accomplish more.

John Maxwell, one of the world’s leading gurus on leadership, says, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.” That means if you have people in your life who look up to you and are influenced by you, you’re a leader. Yes, you. Many of us don’t think of ourselves as leaders, but the truth is that we’re all leading someone. Are you the kind of leader that’s admired or one that only looks out for themselves? The Bible talks a lot about shepherds, and we mainly associate them with pastors, but really, it’s about leaders. We don’t need to skip over those verses thinking they don’t apply to us or use them against our pastors. Instead, use them to look in the mirror to see how you’re doing with those you’re influencing.

Proverbs 27:23 says, “A shepherd should pay close attention to the faces of his flock and hold close to his heart the condition of those he cares for” (TPT). If you’re going to pay close attention to the face of your flock, or those who look up to you, you’re going to have to turn towards them and look them in the eye. If you’re going to know the condition they’re in, you’re going to have to take time to check in with them and listen to them. God has placed people in your life that you are a steward of. When’s the last time you checked in on them or had a face to face conversation (virtually counts)? The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. Look around, reach out to someone and see how you can help them. We’re all in this together, and we all need encouragement and motivation at times. Be the shepherd others want to follow.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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