Vicar’s Reflection: True Leadership, 4th Sunday of Easter. 3rd May 2020,
With confronting words Jesus outlines the true purpose of leadership: “that they may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus offers the role of the shepherd as his model. Here are three reflections from this model:
1) Both religious and secular leaders must act for the safeguarding of those in their care. Their responsibility is to lead, protect, feed, call and gather their people. Leadership means anticipating needs before they arise and taking steps to ensure proper provision for the needs of the community and to ensure fulness of life.
2) In the context of the threat from Covid 19 we have seen from the range of responses by different world leaders that some have lost touch with the ethical and even moral values that give them authority to lead. Even some church leaders have shown an arrogant disregard for their role of protecting their ‘flock’ claiming that their higher spiritual status will be enough against this deadly virus. We live in the real world not some spiritualised phantasy world. The role of leaders is to call out falsehood, warn of danger and to lead to safety and succour those entrusted to their care.
3) We celebrate Christ as our shepherd, still with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit to gather, to lead, to guide, and to feed and nurture his people. His voice continues to call us down through the centuries, to this day, to this very moment. Do you hear his call in your heart now? Will you follow where he leads? Will you lead where he guides?