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Spiritual Shepherdology

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“Spiritual Shepherdology”
Rochelle KP. Thomas

Although the most perfect example of a Christian leader is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, Stott (2002) informs “our model of leadership is often shaped more by culture than by Christ (p.113). He went further to suggest, “Yet many cultural models of leadership are incompatible with the servant imagery taught and exhibited by the Lord Jesus” (Stott, 2002, p.113). According to MacArthur (2002), “2 Timothy 2, for example, Paul uses seven different metaphors to describe the rigors of leadership. He pictures the minister as a teacher (v. 2), a soldier (v. 3), an athlete (v. 5), a farmer (v. 6), a workman (v. 15), a vessel (vv. 20-21), and a slave (v. 24). All those images evoke ideas of sacrifice, labor, service, and hardship. They speak eloquently of the complex and varied responsibilities of spiritual leadership. Not one of them makes leadership out to be glamorous” (“Wanted: a Few Good Shepherds (Must Know How to Wash Feet)”, para 1). Thus, for those contending with an internal struggle that questions: why me? And, how do I become? One might also ask, “How do I develop a deeper relationship with Christ to learn how to be led in order to lead? Or, where is the course in “shepherdology” (MacArthur, 2007)?

If we take a look at the Book of John, Christ declares, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). According to the article “What is Christian leadership?” (2011), “when Jesus referred to us as ‘sheep’, He was not speaking in affectionate terms. In truth, sheep rank among the dumbest animals in creation”. Further elucidation informs that “a stray sheep, still within earshot of the herd, becomes disoriented, confused, frightened, and incapable of finding its way back to the flock. Unable to ward off hungry predators, the stray is perhaps the most helpless of all...

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