God calls leaders to give life.
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“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.”
Psalm 23:1-3a King James Version
On occasion I’m asked to read the King James Version of the twenty-third psalm at funerals. Sometimes you’ve just gotta read it in King’s English.
King David was reflecting on how God was leading him when he composed this psalm. In writing these words, King David considered how the Lord had been his shepherd, and how he was to be a shepherd king of God’s people. David was called and anointed by God to be a leader.
Faithful leadership is critical to the health of our Christian communities. God has not called leaders to be dictators, but to be shepherd leaders. The goal of Christian communities is the health of the flock.
In my daily devotions I read a quote from Henri Nouwen concerning Christian leadership. “Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about.” (The Wounded Healer)
I had to find a picture in my library of photographs that depicted what I heard Nouwen saying. These bees, busily collecting pollen, are leaders. They are giving life to other flowers and to their colony. Their focus is on their work not on praise. They are doing what they are suppose to do.
Christian leaders are called to give life, God’s life that has captivated these leaders like pollen on honey bee legs. This love for God’s flock propels leaders to guide the sheep to places of green pastures and quiet waters. It’s what leaders do even though they might not receive praise and gratitude from those they lead. (I don’t think these bees received a slap on the back when they returned to the hive.)
The next time you read the twenty-third psalm, think about how your leadership reflects how the Shepherd leads you.
Text and Picture Copyright Douglas P Brauner