by BCBP Editor

A New Look at Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd

good shepherd 2
In Psalm 23 we learn not only about God’s nature, but also about His leadership. Both the Old and New Testaments use the term “shepherd” to illustrate leadership. The word communicates the love, nurture, and spiritual care a godly leader provides. It involves both the rod (correction) and staff (direction).

Devotional writer John Maxwell tells us that Psalm 23 describes the Ultimate Shepherd as performing several functions.

The Shepherd:
Provides necessities
Confidently leads
Guides and directs
Feeds and anoints
Loves unconditionally
Furnishes permanent shelter
Gives rest
Renews and restores
Protects from harm

Good Shepherd Leadership

Good shepherd leadership, Christian leadership, is more than simply making authoritative decisions. It involves many other factors, in addition to those listed above:

courage in preserving and proclaiming the authentic message of the gospel,
reflection on how the scriptures apply to present-day situations,
discernment of who is suited to take on various ministries in the Church, in the Christian community,
building unity in the community,
listening to the insights of others, and
leading the community in prayer.

A good leader knows how to follow the Lord.

Discussion Starters:

1. Read Psalm 23 from several different translations. How are they alike; how do they differ?

2. How do you see yourself as a sheep under Jesus’ care?

3. In your leadership role in the BCBP or in your family, compare your style of leadership to that of Jesus.

4. With Psalm 23 as your guide, how can you improve and strengthen your leadership skills?

5. If you are not a leader, how can you be a better follower?

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