Wednesday, March 07, 2012

LESSON NINE: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 9 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” led me to examine the characteristics of the Good Shepherd that should be emulated by a good leader. As Christians, I believe each of us is called to leadership as a member of the body of Christ, using our unique gifts and talents to shine the light of Christ in a dark world.

The Good Shepherd is Jesus. He calls His sheep by name and His sheep know and obey His voice. He goes before them and leads them. He lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus cares for His sheep. He knows His sheep. He is known by His sheep. Believers are His sheep.

So, as a good leader, what characteristics should I be incorporating into my own behavior? John 10:1-18 brings up some substantial points:

- First of all, the true shepherd of the flock enters through the gate, and Jesus explains that He is the gate, so we should lead others in the name of the Lord.

- We should call those we lead by name. I believe this demonstrates a level of relationship beyond just seeing a face and possibly recognizing it. It is a mark of genuine caring, which is addressed later in the passage along with knowing the sheep.

- We should lead by example, going ahead of those for whom we are responsible.

- Here’s the tough one: lay down his life for his sheep. Yes, as leaders we should willingly follow Christ to the death. We cannot do what Christ did in this instance and bring salvation to others, but our obedience and immense sacrifice cannot help but point others to the true Savior!

- We should care for the sheep. What are the needs of those you lead? How can you meet those needs? Perhaps you need to delegate this task to someone else.

- We should be known by those we lead. There should be a level of transparency in us as leaders. Those we lead should be able to pray for us and help us in our leadership tasks.

Frankly, this final exercise is what I will take away from this study. I cannot believe that nine weeks has already passed. I’ve loved learning with my fellow bloggers. What a terrific way to do Bible study.

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