Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, February 23, 2017
Audio Link: https://www.spreaker.com/…/r…/thoughts-in-worship-02-23-2017
“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice” (John 10:4).
Dictator or Leader
Are you a dictator who drives your agenda or a leader? Leaders lead by capable example. Dictators nudge, push, drive, and force others to comply. People follow great leaders willingly. Some people go along with dictators through mindless compulsion.
John 10:1-10 is chock full of relationship, spiritual, and business advice. And you will discover it if you have sanctified vision. Today, I would like to focus on one leadership principle. Can you guess what it might be? Leadership! I suppose I have violated the rule of not using a word to define a word here but bear with me.
Jesus described His careful leadership style in our theme text. His sheep know His voice; therefore, He when calls them, opens a way before them, and then leads the way, they follow! Can you imagine how much more successful businesses would become if managers and C-level executives would follow Jesus’ example? When Jesus calls His sheep, they listen, not because He’s barking out orders, but because He has been a faithful and effective communicator. He has nurtured appropriate relationships with His followers, which engendered trust. People will follow those they trust.
Leadership From Behind
Jesus also demonstrated that effective leaders could earn people’s attentiveness. In this verse, Jesus calls to His sheep and puts them out to a particular space for a moment while the flock assembles and then He marches forward with the entire flock willingly following. The sheep not only trusted Him, but they knew what to expect. He did not move erratically or on a whim. When He was about to move, He prepared them in such a way they knew what to expect. And, when He called, they listened. When He moved, they followed.
Dictators are the polar opposite of great leaders. And on top of that, they drive from behind. They are paranoid about people loafing or dropping out of line. Controlling their people is more important than building productive relationships. They are more concerned with speaking than actually being heard.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in there for us somewhere. If you are a parent, teacher, church leader, or businessperson, take a page out of Jesus’ book. Effective leadership can only be achieved when we choose the humble path that is more concerned about people than we are the process. Invest in people, be clear regarding what you expect from them, and lead from the front, and you will discover an incredible level of cooperation from most of those you lead. I do realize some rebellious people simply cannot be led, but that’s for another devotional thought. For today, submit to Jesus’ leadership style and become as effective as He is.