Shepherd or Sheepdog

To manipulate, drive or manage people is not the same thing as to lead them. The sheepdog forcibly maneuvers the sheep, whereas the biblical shepherd simply calls as he calmly walks ahead of the sheep. This distinction between the sheepdog and the shepherd is profoundly significant for how leaders of Christ’s people think of their work. We must ask ourselves frequently which role we are fulfilling and constantly return ourselves, if necessary, to the practice of the shepherd.

When we lead as shepherds, our confidence is in only one thing: the word of the Great Shepherd, coming through us or, otherwise, to his sheep. We know that thy know his voice and will not follow another (John 10:1-16). We do not want them to follow another, even if we ourselves are that “other”. Only this supreme confidence frees us to be true ministers of Christ.

Dallas Willard. Hearing God (p.107)

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