Shepherding, is it Leading or Following?

In our Sunday (January 15th) readings from 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and John 1:43-51 we hear of callings from the Lord to young Samuel and from Jesus to Philip and Nathaniel.  Samuel later becomes known for his prophetic words of truth telling, and as a leading (the first) prophet of ancient Israel in the period of the monarchy.  Philip and Nathaniel become disciples of Jesus but soon are looked up to as leaders of this new movement.  But in their development as leaders they first had to learn how to humble themselves by listening and hearing the call to be followers.

It has been said that to be an effective leader one needs followers who are willing to take risks.   Samuel, Philip, and Nathaniel were willing to take risks by listening and following God’s call and their risks helped the world know the love, grace and mercy of God through his Son.

God’s Son is often called the “Good Shepherd” and a good shepherd is a leader who leads by walking with or perhaps following the flock – a unique kind of leader.

During this week ask yourself, “In what ways am I a good leader?”  “In what ways am I a good follower?”  “How am I willing to take risks for my Lord, the good shepherd?”

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