I’m several weeks away from a Youth For Christ USA National Board meeting. It’s in this context that I will receive my performance review. The process started several weeks ago and included the candid feedback of my Cabinet, of the board members, along with my own perspective related to my job performance. It’s a part of a regular rhythm that characterizes a good board.
Yet today, in the context of a day-long gathering of business leaders in Denver, I was challenged to consider another facet of my role in leadership that isn’t captured in my job description. It is the powerful words of God that artIculates the message. It’s the Bible that swipes a highlighter across the ideals that should mark any and every leader. My friend, Jeff, read it, but it was unmistakably the Holy Spirit who pushed uncomfortably into my soul.
Know the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, (Proverbs 27:23)
A lofty call to a humble position. The posture of service in the noble beaconing of God.
A shepherd… as followers of the one and only Good Shepherd.
Shepherds who know well the condition of the flock. Attentive stewards.
The words form the pen of Solomon and the heard of God rand true, even as they struck a familiar chord. Several years ago in the context of YFC/USA National Board meeting, Holly Culhane, a long-term member of our board, a successful entrepreneur, and a passionate follower of Christ began to the articulate a vision for a message that God was etching deeply into her soul.
The vision revolved around the calling of every leader to model the character of shepherd… of the Good Shepherd. To love, lead, and engage with the sheep entrusted to us.
To be present.
Today, the words of King Solomon pressed firmly on the keys of this chord. I heard Holly… but more precisely I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Know well the condition of your flock.”
The stirring in Holly’s head has become a fresh calling for her and her husband, Doug. They call it Presence Point.
The mission of Presence Point is to invite shepherds; to invite me; to invite us, to live into your calling. Into the part of my job description that didn’t make it into print.
The concept is brilliantly illuminated in the concluding words of direct communication between Jesus and Peter… his revised job description…
Feed my lambs.
Tend my sheep.
Feed my sheep.
If we love Jesus, we shepherd sheep.
The calling is clear. The role of selfless, and gritty, and humble, and thankless… and just like Jesus.
Your flock. Do you know them? Are you paying attention to your herd?
Thanks, Holly, for hearing the voice of God’s Spirit before I did. Thanks for doing something about it. Thanks for stepping out in courage. You and Doug inspire me.
Yes indeed… live into your calling.
Shepherds on assignment. Stewards on behalf of the Good Shepherd.
With the help of God. By the hand of God.Dan Wolgemuth