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Lessons I Gleaned from the Book The Way of The Shepherd

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Written by   103
1 month ago

When I left my previous employer in 2013, my supervisor gave me a book as a parting gift. The title is "The Way of the Shepherd," written by Kevin Leman and William Pentak. It is a compact book about leadership. 

I thought I lost the book due to occasional flooding in our area until a friend returned it to me, though with spill marks and stains that are sure to ruin any book lover's mood. But still, I'm glad that it has found its way home.

I reread the book because of the preaching topic given to me about The Good Shepherd. I am to expound on the whole Psalm 23 and exegete the completeness of God's care to His people as likened to the shepherd and the sheep. 

It's a joy rediscovering the intricacies of shepherding. I live in the city, and aside from what I read in books or watch in the movies, I am foreign to the idea of tending sheep. But I am excited about what I read!

Leaders know the condition of their people

A shepherd regularly checks the condition of his sheep. He regularly inspects them of blowflies that might cause irritation and infection to the sheep. The wools are also monitored for shearing. It is mentioned that when a sheep's wool becomes soaked in water, it gets heavy and causes the sheep to lose balance. An unchecked sheep will end up dead because it can't help itself.

Likewise, leaders must know the condition of their people. He must check whether there are things that irritate and aggravates them. This is important because an unhealthy environment will impede the productivity and effectiveness of a person. No one wants to work in a place where you can't thrive. Moreover, no one wants to work in an environment where the point person who is supposed to take care of you doesn't pay attention to your needs. People stay where they feel valued and appreciated.

Encouragement and Correction Goes Together

A shepherd has two important tools in tending sheep: his staff and his rod. The staff is longer with a curved end, and the rod is straight and short. Let's discuss the staff first. The staff is often used in tapping the sheep as a way of catching its attention especially when it begins to graze in areas away from the flock. Since the sheep tend to be too focused on what they eat and are vulnerable to attacks, the shepherd has to use the curved end to rescue the sheep. From crevices to cliffs and other hard-to-reach areas, the shepherd skillfully uses the staff as a rescue tool. 

The rod is used to knock over predators who try to harm the sheep. With the rod as his weapon, a good shepherd will face any wild animal no matter how dangerous, for the sake of the sheep. 

But sometimes, the sheep has to be protected from itself. When a sheep has gone too far and is about to get into harm's way, a skillful shepherd will throw the rod towards the sheep to knock it out. It is better to wound the poor animal than for it to die due to its recklessness.

A leader also has these two powerful tools at his disposal. He can use the gentler tool to warn and rescue an erring person, or he can use the tougher rod of discipline to let people know who's in charge. A good leader knows that both are necessary to grow an organization. A bad leader tends to skew on only one at the expense of the other. 

Leaders, need to realize that some people need encouragement to make them realize how far they've gone from where they are supposed to be. No one wants to be yelled at and reprimanded. As much as it is necessary, they should be gentle with their people. 

However, some erring individuals need more than just gentle taps and reminders. They need to be disciplined - not to harm them, but to keep them from harm. As parents discipline their children, leaders must exercise healthy discipline to ensure that they will be guided in the right direction.

These are just some of the many gleanings I've learned from the book. If I have time, perhaps I'll write more ruminations from it. 

Thanks for reading!

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Comments

It's the one of my favorites verse .

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1 month ago

It's a comforting verse! Short but packed with a powerful message :)

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1 month ago