Shepherds Go In Front
Lead, Follow, Get Out of the Way!
Please, do one or the other. Don't just stand their taking up space - do something!
It seems every crowd has it's nay-sayers. They are the people who don't lead, but they
criticize leadership, they don't make decisions, they complain about every decision, and
they don't give direction, they stubbornly refuse to go any direction. They are blockers.
They feel their call is to stop things. They dig in their heals, refuse to budge, and
urge others to do the same. They are stubborn, vociferous, and often heard above the
noise of the crowd - but they are not leaders.
That is, they know where they are going and how to get there. Then they
cheer on others to follow their example and to go in that same direction.
They are not dictators. Dictators are not leaders, they are controlers,
manipulators, and intimidators - but not leaders. True leaders lead by
example, not by commands or force.
Peter instructs shepherd-leaders, "Do not be lords over (katakurieuo) God's heritage,
but be examples (tupos) to the flock."
The Greek word for "lords over" is "katakurieuo."
The word "tupos" on the other hand is an impression made by a blow, or impression, such as
a footprint in the sand. It is a mold, images, impression, template, or example.
It is a footprint to follow. It is the same word Thomas used to refer to the print of the
nails in Jesus' hands.
Paul said, "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as
ye have us for an example. - (Philippians 3:17) It is the same word, tupos.
Here are some other New Testament uses of the word.
- 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example <5179> of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
- Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern <5179> of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
- 1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples <5179> to the flock.
- John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them,
Except I shall see in his hands the print <5179> of the nails, and put my finger into the print <5179> of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
You're the only Jesus some people will ever see. Know this, a shepherd is in the eye of the sheep. They are watching. They are following.
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ
ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the
living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. - 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Not imitations, but imitators. "Mimics" of Jesus. Peter says we should walk in the steps of Jesus. Live like Jesus. Love like Jesus. Laugh like Jesus. Lead like Jesus.
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers (mimetes) together of me, and mark them which walk
so as ye have us for an example.
- 1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers <3402> of me.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers <3402> of me, even as I also am of Christ.
- Ephesians 5:1 Be ye <3402> therefore followers <3402> of God, as dear children;
- 1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers <3402> of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
- 1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers <3402> of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
- Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers <3402> of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- 1 Peter 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers <3402> of that which is good?
Everyone leaves footprints. What is the trail of footprints you are leaving behind?
For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example (hupogrammos),
that ye should follow (epakoloutheo) his steps (ichnos): - 1 Peter 2:21
- (hupogrammos) Is a writing copy, including all the letters of the alphabet,
given to beginners as an aid in learning to draw them
- (epakoloutheo) Follow after, or to tread in one's footsteps i.e. to imitate his example.
To follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him
- (ichnos) Tracks, footprints, or steps
It was Saint Francis of Assisi who said,
"Preach Christ. If necessary use words."
Our actions will always speak louder than words.