The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

Lessons From A Shepherd

Bible Reference: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it” Luke 15:4 NIV

How is a shepherd a leader?

Lead from Behind

The basic concept of a shepherd is to lead from behind the flock so they can see all of them at once, being able to react to changing circumstances that might take place.

“A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela

It’s a great way to visualize leadership, where you let the strong go out in the front and naturally bring the unsteady along with them.  All the while, you can be in the back, watching the overall direction, and seeing when the flock might be at risk externally or internally.


The Shepherd is responsible for the entire flock, and they would risk their own safety for the sheep in the flock.   Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep is really speaking about leaving 99 strong individuals to invest in one weak person…in an attempt to have them repent and enter the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes leadership is the same way: we need to be positively impacting others.  Transforming a frail individual into a capable productive staff member has great rewards, and can take more attention from you than those who are already strong.  It’s similar to a teacher who needs to spend a little extra time with a struggling student…in the end that often helps all of us.


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