Jesus sometimes referred to people as “sheep”.
I don’t think he meant that as a compliment.
I believe he was trying to teach us an uncomfortable truth about human nature.
I believe he was giving us some training on leadership.
Sheep are not smart. They often don’t know what’s best for themselves. They become even dumber and MORE in need of help as a herd.
Herd mentality is a real thing. Look around you right now, wherever you are at: at home with the kids, at the office, on the highway, or on TV: the collective dumbing down of the group is a real thing.
An even more pernicious problem is that a leader typically does emerge from the unattended herd, and it’s often someone who is motivated by greed, anger, or some other lust for control.
Being a good shepherd isn’t for everyone. It requires that you are able to:
a) communicate with clarity, purpose, and consistency where the group needs to be led
b) be realistic about their need for leadership, coming from a place of compassion, rather than your own personal need to exert control
This is no easy task, but it’s what must happen.
We are all shepherds.
Take account of your herd today.
Lead them with compassionate understanding of their weaknesses.
Lead them with simple clarity of purpose.
Some day, they too will become shepherds – it’s your example of leadership that they will repeat.
Make it great.