#shepherds #GoodShepherd #ServantLeaders
In the Christmas story, the angels heralded the birth of Jesus first to shepherds.
Why shepherds, rather than more important people of the time?
Kyle Wingfield, columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tackled this matter in his Christmas Day column of 2016.
As Wingfield puts it, shepherding was among the dirty jobs of the era, done by men of the humblest and lowliest stations in life.
But it’s so appropriate that shepherds were the first to know. Moses and David were shepherds before they became biblical heroes, Wingfield writes.
And, more importantly, the double symbolism in the story is that Jesus called himself “the Good Shepherd.” He came from humble beginnings, and circulated among, and died for, the humblest among us. As Wingfield put it, he was the ultimate example of a sacrificial leader. The ultimate shepherd.
Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, the story offers an example for all of us. Real leaders first are servants. They jump into the dirtiest of tasks if they need to. They don’t ask of others what they would not do themselves.
Most of us would strive to be servant leaders. Servant leaders look not at what’s in it for themselves, but they look first at what they can do to help others succeed.
If they do that, then success usually finds them.
Perhaps you think that your current position does not allow you to be a servant leader. Instead, your position makes you be more like, well, just a servant.
But one can be a leader, while being a servant. He or she can set the example for those around them. He or she can show others how to be a good person, or, as it were, a good shepherd. Remember, as Wingfield writes, that shepherding was a pretty lowly job back in the day.
Then, there are those who seek to do more with their lives. They want to step up from what they are doing now, and be a shepherd in a new way – one that could have even more impact on others’ lives. Perhaps they want to help others succeed in a way that they, or those whom they help, would have never dreamed of.
If that describes you, there are many ways out there for you to step out, and step up, that you might not have thought about. To learn about one of the best ways to do that, message me.
Meanwhile, by extending a helping hand in your life as it is now, you will be on your way to becoming a good shepherd.
“We don’t like to think of ourselves as sheep,” Wingfield writes. “It’s something of a slur among those who reject (the elites). But we are all in need of shepherds. Good ones. The kind who set aside pride and self-interest to put others first,” Wingfield writes.
In short, be a good shepherd in your own way. Never forget that serving is leading. Never condemn your station in life. Instead, work to improve it if you must. Don’t let the naysayers and fear mongers bring you down.
For in this season, and all others, there is so much joy to be shared.


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