Pursue your Calling, Not Your Potential.
With so many books written about Leadership and Potential in the last 20 years, it’s time to go back to the Scriptures, and see what Jesus did is “pursued His calling…not His potential. His calling was to be a “shepherd” to the lost sheep of Israel. He didn’t read all the latest leadership books, take seminars, etc., but gained His understanding not only from the agrarian culture of that day but also from the Old Testaments understanding of shepherding (Psalms 23; Ezekiel 34). We are called to be shepherds first…we must remember this fact before we move into the world’s evangelism cult of leadership. Don’t get me wrong…I believe that many godly men/women have written many good things about leadership that stand true and can help us. We desperately need godly leaders and I personally have reaped the benefits of these many voices.
What I have taken notice of is that we do those things first instead of first shepherding. If you are a pastor, you are called first to be a shepherd.
The word pastor in the New Testament has implied relationships with other terms such as; “elder, bishop, overseer,” and many other terms giving oversight to the flock of God. In Ephesians 4:11 the Greek word “poimḗn” is defined as “shepherd.”
After completing a time of rest and recovery, Jesus was approached by people with a massive to-do list. They had so much work for him it would have kept him from leaving their town (Luke 4:42). Jesus denied their requests, not because their needs were bad or not important, but because they were not the things that Jesus was called to do by the Father (Luke 4:43).
Jesus was called to preach the good news of the kingdom of God in various towns. Jesus pursued his calling not His potential.
If you don’t know what your calling is, you need to get with God and the Bible. Who do you identify with in the Bible? This will help indicate some of your skills. What are our passions? What are your interests? What are you good at? How has God worked through you before? Where do you see needs? These are just a few questions you can ask in discerning your call as a shepherded in the Body of Christ.
It is both a enriching and yet humbling understanding of the incredible imagery of shepherding that the Holy Spirit has given to us. So extensive is this imagery throughout the Bible and its contribution about leadership itself, that we need, no, must understand what shepherding says about leadership first, and then how we practice it. It is a major part of our faithfulness to Christ who alone, as John would say, is the “Chief Shepherd.”
John 21:15-17; “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. (NKJV)
Do we? Do you?