You must be willing to make decisions others don’t want to make.- Myron Rush in “The New Leader.”
3 Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ Luke 15:3-6
For me, as a Christian leader, everything comes down to the mission of Christ. Leadership is essential because the mission is crucial. We lead so that the main thing remains the main thing. Luke 15 gives us the clearest insight into the heart of God. Luke 15 has three parables that take you deeper into the nature and focus of God when it comes to lost people. For this leadership lesson, we will study the parable of the Lost Sheep.
The Nature of Lost Sheep
Once a sheep is lost it becomes so traumatized that it is unable to walk and must be carried back to the flock or the village. Unaided, the lost sheep cannot find its way home and will most certainly become the victim of a predator.
We Are Called to Be Reckless Leaders
One of the most frustrating aspects of ministry for me was ministering to the ninety-nine. Leading the faithful was a challenge because they believed my entire ministry should be focused on them. I keep pointing them to the lost sheep because just like actual sheep those unconnected to God are in the same position. Those unconnected cry out to be found. The lost sheep may not even realize they are crying out, but the Good Shepherd hears that plea for help. He sees it in the choices the sheep is making. The shepherd hears it in the prayers of desperation that are prayed in their hour of deepest need. And just like actual sheep, the lost soul’s only hope is the Good Shepherd who will come after us and find us, pick us up and carry us back to safety. There are two critical actions the shepherd must take.
The shepherd must come after the lost sheep, which in itself is a costly endeavor for the Good Shepherd to come rescue it. Then, the Good Shepherd has to lay down His life on Calvary’s cross and three days later pick up that life again. He does this because a price must be paid by the shepherd to restore the lost sheep to the flock. That is why when any lost sheep is restored there is rejoicing in heaven, because the cost for each sheep is precious. God desires all lost sheep be restored. That is just how valuable the sheep are to the Good Shepherd. Now you see why Jesus will drop everything to go after the one. The one matters to God. Jesus is a reckless savior and to be faithful to the mission he calls us to be reckless leaders. Are you willing to upset the ninety-nine to faithfully accomplish the mission reaching the lost?
Next week the series continues: “Leaders Must be people of emotional and spiritual integrity.”
Other posts in this series:
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