Amidst temptations to lead by control, manipulation, and coercion, godly leaders know that God calls them to serve others because it is their duty to God.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables that are against the Pharisees. The Pharisees too often led people (around) through fear, control, and intimidation. Their leadership efforts focused on getting people to observe the law, as the Pharisees understood it. Those who could do it were "in" and those who couldn't were "out."
In contrast, Jesus taught that good shepherds always maintain a relational focus with their flock for the purpose of paying attention to their spiritual growth. Good shepherds take risks to shepherd those most in need, care about caring about people, and care more for the needs of those who need help than for the selfish whims of those seeking to be served.
As we continue our series on what good church leadership is and is not, we'll look at three images of good leadership detailed in the Gospel of Luke: steward, shepherd, and servant.
In this week's sermon, I examine the difficult parable of the "dishonest manager" (Luke 16:1-12). This parable hinges on the inclusion of the Pharisees as "overhearers" of the parable. It calls them to see themselves in reality as the overbearing master and then to move towards the new ideal of being the shrewd manager, lightening loads for the sake of inclusion. This is what good stewardship is about.
Godly leaders are faithful with what God has entrusted to them; they are generous toward others (not overbearing); they use their resources to help and serve others; and they are responsible with the "little things."
Good church leadership follows the "shepherding" model taught and commended in scripture. Good shepherds search out and feed their flock, care for the sick and injured, and feed justice to the flock. In short, they shepherd just like God shepherds.
Look around at your own spiritual leaders (they may or not be the "titled" leaders). When you find someone who shepherds just like God does, follow them, because in doing so you will follow their example to become more godly.
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