Leadership And Sheep: Five Signs Of Christlike Effectiveness

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.




Needs Met While Relying On The Divine Shepherd

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Encouraging Psalms.phone and book

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1).

I can imagine that some of you are wondering why I cut such a beautiful, well-known passage short. Nobody does that. If you have been reading these devotional thoughts over the years, you will realize that I like to take my time in the Scriptures. God has so much to say that we often miss, because we rush by to get to the next thought. Let’s press pause and have a look around, shall we?

The king opens this familiar passage with one of the most mysterious and endearing realities in the Bible. He says that he has all he needs. This is what the phrase, “I shall not want” basically means. At no time at all, upon condition, would David and those like him ever have a need, which would not be fulfilled. If today those with the faith of David need to be sustained through difficult trials, they have what they need. If tomorrow they need to know the love of God in this callous generation, they have what they need. At any and all times we all can have what we need.

Now, I mentioned a condition. What is it? If you accept the Lord as your divine Shepherd, you presently and continually have all that is needful, according to His will, and at His disposal. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.

What do shepherds do? They protect, nurture, guide, and feed the sheep. What do sheep do in this context? Sheep follow wherever their shepherds lead. And if by chance they lose their way, they rely on the shepherd to guide them into safe, green pastures.

If we choose to accept the gift of God’s care and provision, there will never be a time when He will not supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. We must be careful to recognize God’s wisdom in contrast to our innate lack thereof. This means that we may perceive a need we do not actually have. Conversely, we may not realize we have a dire need, which our loving God sees clearly. Therefore it is critical for us, as it is for sheep, to trust the One who guides, protects, and provides for us.

Are you willing to let go of the reins of your life and allow God to guide you in to green pastures? Are you willing to allow Him to provide all He deems necessary to effect His will in your life? If so, you are in the most capable hands in the universe. You will experience difficulties at times. You may even wander away (God forbid). But if you surrender to the tender care of Christ, you will always have the grace, mercy, power, and provisions you need until He returns.