Is it not strange that the leadership style of the most important person to ever walk this earth has never been properly researched and developed?
There are many writings about Jesus, including some about His leadership style. They make many assumptions but involved very little research. Have you read the part where Jesus said: “I am the good servant”? Neither have I. What I have read, is the part where He said, “I am the Good Shepherd”. You may or may not be aware that this coming Sunday is commonly referred as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’.
Incidentally, on the issue of Christian Leadership more is written about King David than of Jesus. Similarly, I have read much about King David setting the example of a shepherd.
In reference to His leadership style. Jesus said: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
Here Jesus was not referring to and concentrating on the sheep. Yes, He was concerned about the future of the sheep, but in this verse He was primarily referring to His own leadership style. He was telling us about the best leadership style to apply if we want the sheep to thrive. If He wanted to emphasize the sheep in the equation, He could have said ‘you are great sheep’, or something similar.
Jesus was referring to the correct way to lead His flock. His followers were like sheep. This He explained in various parables. They needed shepherd-like care. He also knew that the time was coming for Him to return to His Father, and that the sheep would need new leaders of His kind and not hired carers (pseudo-shepherds). Such individuals would flee when danger threatens but the right type of leaders would stand tall, protecting and caring for the sheep.
Jesus was proactively telling His followers through the ages, that for any flock of sheep to thrive, they would need a leader of His kind to lead and protect them. Jesus took this to the extreme where he made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life for us so that we could be saved.
There is so much that we can learn from Jesus’ example as the ‘Good Shepherd’. We have opportunities daily to walk alongside members of our communities and exemplify the values of love, justice, compassion, forgiveness, service, humility, courage, hope, quality and appreciation. Through putting these values into action in our leadership and interaction with others within our respective communities we model Jesus, our ‘Good Shepherd’.
Illustration: ‘Lost Sheep’ by Douglas Ramsey