They Smell Like Sheep (Vol 2)
one THE HEART OF THE MATTER Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. -- 1 Samuel 16:7 My friend Brad writes, Over thirty years ago a president engages his administration in a massive cover-up...
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one THE HEART OF THE MATTER Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. -- 1 Samuel 16:7 My friend Brad writes, Over thirty years ago a president engages his administration in a massive cover-up over a hotel break-in that eventually forces him to resign. Twenty-five years later another president wags his finger at the public and lies about an affair. Does character matter? The CEO of a Fortune 500 company takes a small, upstart phone company, goes on a buying spree, and forms the second-largest communications company in history. He now faces up to eighty-five years in prison for cooking the company's books to the tune of $11 billion, wiping out thousands of investors in the process. Does character matter? A brilliant physicist, who does research in molecular biology, leaves his prestigious office every day, goes home, and beats his wife senseless, because of his low self-esteem. Does character matter? When Mother Teresa was asked about the utter futility of trying to feed millions of hungry people and rescuing the dying amid abject poverty in Calcutta, she responded, "God does not call us to be successful; he calls us to be faithful." Yes, character matters. And it matters most of all in leadership, where Jesus talked a great deal about faithfulness versus success. When it comes to the heart of a shepherd, we can say with certainty, "Of course character does matter." So true! And character, dear reader, is a matter of the heart. SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP April is a bright, young, multitasking, twenty-something woman, balancing a business career with her role as mom and wife. She was looking for a "sounding board and for wise counsel," she said, but then added, "My generation doesn't have much time forauthority figures. Rather, what we are looking for iswisdom figures." April spoke for many in our day who have grown weary with and suspicious of authority figures -- charismatic preachers, church power players, PhDs, politicians, CEOs, and basically anyone flashing institutional credentials. And this new generation is not afraid to say so. This does not mean, of course, that April and her peers lack God-hunger. In fact, a good many people in our time remain very much open to the supernatural; but at the same time they often express cynicism toward the agents or promoters of "organized religion." April underscores the bias of this book, that a spiritual leader is not necessarily the person with the most Bible knowledge (though Bible knowledge is of utmost importance), nor the one with the best track record of managerial and administrative skills. It may not even be the person with the strongest leadership skills (at least, as our culture defines leadership). Rather: A spiritual leader is the kind of person God-hungry people want to be like. While you will see the preceding words repeated like a mantra throughout this book, they are no mere slogan. Rather, they represent my attempt to encapsulate the DNA at the heart of authentic spiritual leadership. It can help a Christian leader, of course, to know Scripture and to have experience in ministerial skills like teaching, counseling, or facilitating small groups -- even in visionary leadership. But by themselves, these skills do not attract God-hungry followers and shape Christ-like lives. In fact, I suspect that today's so-called "postmodern people" are not so different from most people throughout history. Way back in "Bible times," Scripture declared that what a spiritual leaderistends to shape the flock much more than what that leaderclaims to believe. "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider theoutcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." Note: the empha
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -- Proverbs 4: 23^"They Smell like Sheep, Volume 2: Leading with the Heart of a Shepherd" is about more than gimmicks and techniques of leadership. It speaks to the character and heart of the leader. After all, heart makes the difference in an effective Sunday-school teacher, youth minister, elder, small-group leader, parent, grandparent, or Christian school teacher.^Spiritual sheep, stray sheep, and searching sheep aren't nearly as concerned about the knowledge and skill of the shepherd as they are about his heart. When finding their way -- at weddings, at funerals, during family crises, and in the hospital -- sheep go to a shepherd in whom they discern God's own heart, like King David of old.^Jesus said sheep would know their shepherd's voice and be drawn to it. It is the heart behind the voice that soothes and comforts God's people.^How do you measure the influence of a godly shepherd? Without doubt, it's
Anderson, minister in Dallas, Texas, for over thirty-five years, received his doctorate from Abilene Christian University in 1990.