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What does it take to become a good shepherd? Is it a big responsibility? Is everyone called to become a leader? Is everyone skilled to lead?


Here will discuss the characteristics of a good shepherd. To start off, let’s check out this verse from the book of John…

John 10:11-16

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

 I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

It takes a lot of courage, sacrifice and leadership to become a good shepherd. Whole-heartedly, they have to be open to do everything for their flocks of sheep. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be fulfilling.

From the Bible verse John 10, it should be understood that Jesus is the good shepherd. Therefore, in becoming one, one must be Christ-like and should have innate goodness. A shepherd must be the one to protect, guide and nurture his flock.

Are you content with just leading your group? Or are you teaching your followers to gather more people to be led?

A Good Shepherd is…

Willing to lay down his life for the sheep

You are more than willing to sacrifice everything for your followers. Discipleship is definitely filled with setbacks and comebacks. There are mistakes, confusions and miracles. There are fears, redos and regrets. But as I was recently reminded, discipleship is most commonly about sacrifice, not investment. You need to train your disciples and hone them to follow the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. But in order to fully help your disciples grow, you have to offer your life first and submit everything to God.

Fights for the sheep

Sometimes a disciple loses heart. Sometimes a disciple loses interest. Sometimes a disciple loses a battle against the flesh. When you fight for your disciple, it doesn’t mean that you are going to fight with an enemy. It simply means that you are about to take a challenge with your sheep. That whatever his battles are in his life, you will be with him no matter what and how much it will cost you.

Never leaves the sheep

You have the ability to stay with your group, with no plans of abandoning them. This may be very hard to attain and maintain because we will also have struggles on our own. And while it is easy to write the disciple off or wave the white flag at God asking to be released from the work, we should understand how God Himself still works in mysterious ways. In those moments of discipleship despair, the call of the cross shines brightly. Like in love, there are definitely people made and tailored to be our disciples. And in our innate passion to love others, during these times of despair that we will feel Christ’s love, that we will choose to stay for anyone who needs our love.

Knows his sheep

You should know by heart what crosses the minds and hearts of your followers. This may be the hardest and longest process of discipleship, but you’ll get there; just have faith. Before you could lead your disciples, it is essential to find out first what keeps them awake at night and what makes them worry about with their daily lives. Indeed, it will take time. Eventually, once they’ve given their full trust on you by constantly showing them that you want to know more about them, without even asking, they will share everything to you.

Active in evangelism

As a good shepherd, you should have a never ending passion to spread the Word of God. By and large, this is exciting – especially when at the end of that investment period, a disciple is actually produced. But many discipling relationships don’t end that way. But, what makes a successful discipleship strategy? I used to think it was the production of a positive number of effective disciples. Today, I believe that is the wrong question altogether.

In a church plant, where the laborers are scarce and the ground is hard, we come closer to seeing a kingdom reality when we ask “How costly is the discipleship process?” Here comes sacrifice again. Being a good shepherd must entail giving up of important things and choosing to lead more than anything else.

Listens

You should always know how to comprehend what your followers feel. Hearing is definitely different from listening. Make time and never make your disciples perplexed with your guidance on them. Establish trust with them and always have an open communication with them. It is very important for disciples to feel that their leaders are alert and willing to listen.

One Shepherd

Who is your shepherd? Who do you want to feed you spiritually? In order to become leaders, we become followers first. Pour all your Bible knowledge into a vessel and something great will come out. Be Christ-like, and you will produce Christ-like individuals. The sacrifice of the cross is setting aside personal wants, expected praise, or choice and setting the needs of others before our own. In order for discipleship to continue and blossom, the sacrifice of the cross must be the major characteristic of a disciple.

 

The idea of feeding and serving people spiritually should be well-balanced when it comes to SUNDAY SERVICE, PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP, DISCIPLESHIP GROUP and MINISTRY.

Yes, it won’t be easy. Yes, it will be a risk. Yes, there are times when you will fail. But the truth is, God will always provide. He is the ultimate good shepherd and He will definitely guide you through any circumstances. As His follower, you should lift up everything to Him and trust that He will never abandon you.

At the end of the day, our ultimate role and goal must always be to help people love God and be like Jesus.

 

How much do you care for your sheep? Will you stand up for your sheep? Will you abandon your sheep? How well do you know them? Do you try and add on to your sheepfold? Do they listen to you? Do they consider you as their shepherd?