“Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat curds, cloth yourselves with wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” (Ezekiel 34:2-6).
Leadership is a calling from God. We are all called to LEAD our LIVES in a way that brings Glory to God! 1 Cor 10:31 puts it simply: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. And Hebrews 6:10 tells us that God is keeping score: For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
Leader, as we look at our Bible text we see that this is a PROPHETIC word! Within this prophesy the Lord provides a core tenant of LEADERSHIP: Leaders need to take care of the people for whom they are responsible. The Lord pronounces a “woe” upon those “who only take care of themselves.” Those who keep the best of the food and clothing while letting the people suffer are not good leaders! Jesus tells us we are to be SERVANT LEADERS: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Conduit, Leaders are servants to their people! The sheep have many needs; the weak need to be strengthened, the sick need to be healed, and the lost need to be found. An effective leader uses his position to serve the needs of others rather than use the people to serve his needs. Those leaders who “rule harshly and brutally” found their sheep scattered because “there was no shepherd.” In effect, He is saying that a leader who leads harshly is not a leader at all! Jesus showed us THE WAY to lead-FOLLOW HIS LEAD! For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:15)