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The qualities of a good leader

Text: John 10: 1-21

Text verse: John. 10:

In this passage Jesus compares a good leader against a leader who only has his own interests at heart. We see three good and bad qualities from leaders.

1. Dishonesty vs. openness

The bad leader does not come through the gate, but over the wall. He is dishonest and therefore he must always be shadowy to hide his dishonesty.

In contrast, the good leader openly comes through the gate and he is let in by the gatekeeper.

2. Own gain vs. the benefit of others

For the bad leader, it’s all about what the sheep can mean to him and how he can get rich through this relationship.

The good leader knows each sheep by name. To the good leader, the sheep are much more than just his possessions. By giving each one a name, he makes the relationship much more personal. Furthermore, he first brings them out to make sure none of them are left behind. For this good leader, it’s about the sheep.

3. Own will vs. guidance

The bad leader is like the shepherds we find in the Western world. They chase the sheep from behind and often with dogs. They drive the sheep wild and therefore the sheep often, in fear, are chased apart.

On the other hand, the good leader walks ahead and because the sheep know his voice, they follow him. They trust him to take them to green pastures.

When we look at these qualities, we must acknowledge that we too often act like bad leaders. We may be dishonest by telling only half the truth. Perhaps we pretend to be something that we are not, and we do not want people to see what is really going on in our heart.

The desire to succeed in life, to get the most out of a situation or to get the best bargain, can easily cause us to misuse others and we do so as long as we can benefit from it.

That is why we are bad leaders. We cannot walk ahead because our own life is not a good example.

To be good leaders, we must understand what Jesus did for us.

He comes through the gate. He hides nothing. He was never deceitful like us. He speaks the full truth and proclaims it at every opportunity.

The most important thing then is to see that Jesus does not do it for his own good. He has our interests at heart. He was willing to pay with his life so that we could be saved; so that we can get the benefit.

Therefore, his voice does not scatter the sheep. His voice testifies of His love and grace and therefore His sheep follow Him wherever He may go.

We can follow Jesus, because in His great sacrifice on the cross it is clear that He is in control. He looks after our interests. Jesus has already died for us of his own accord, so that we may have eternal life.

Faith in Christ leads us to green pastures. Follow Him and live in full trust in Him.

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