Page 54 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

54 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY This image of the shepherd leader is illustrated beautifully in Psalm 23 and John 10. In Psalm 23, David writes with a great sense of joy that the “Lord is my shepherd.” This knowledge makes him content, for he knows that God cares deeply, will provide for his needs, and will be present with him – even in the “valley of the shadow of death” (verse 4). This is not a shepherd who is only equipped to help the sheep during good times; instead, this is a shepherd who understands the crises that sheep face and is willing to walk with them through such crisis situations. Likewise, Jesus in John 10 identifies himself as the “Good Shepherd” and provides a roadmap for how shepherd leaders are to know their sheep, care for them, and even lay down their life for their sheep if necessary. It is an image of self-sacrifice that is convicting for any leader in crises, as we see how the Lord Himself patterned the type of self-giving leadership that we should portray for our own followers. This image of shepherd leadership, when coupled with the image of the leader as servant, provides a strong foundation for Christian leaders in crisis. It alerts them of the need not only to be a visionary leader who leads followers on to God’s agenda, but to be incarnational and present with one’s followers at the darkest hours of their lives. During crisis situations, leaders should lead by example, going through the same things they are asking their followers to go through. It is too late when the crisis hits for the leader to get to know his/her followers; they must already know their shepherd’s “voice,” and he/she must already “smell” like the sheep so that they will trust him/her in the crucible of these critical times. Thus, not only should leaders prepare to serve God and serve His people, but they should see them with the eyes of a shepherd, looking for their needs and providing emotional, spiritual, and physical care during the crisis situation. THE LEADER AS STEWARD The third biblical image that is helpful for Christian leaders in crisis situations is the image of the leader as steward. In a crisis situation, resources are scarce, and decisions are extremely difficult. One of the foremost duties of a crisis leader is to assess the situation, understand the scope of the problems, analyze his/her followers’ needs, and make decisions that enable the followers to get through the crisis.19 This can