Leadership based on Psalm 23:1



Light for the Way devotional series

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By Pastor Matt Anderson, SummerWood of Chanhassen and SummerWood of Plymouth

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” —Psalm 23:1, NLT

The image of a shepherd is used to describe leaders throughout the Bible. Similarly, those who follow are described as sheep. Good shepherds feed their sheep, and bad shepherds feed themselves (see Ezekiel 34:2). Notice the discrepancy between the good and the bad shepherds. One is others-focused, and one is self-focused. What kind of shepherd would you want? I know I would want a leader who is attentive and provides what’s needed for me to succeed in my work.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus has compassion for a large crowd because they are like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). He has them sit down on green grass and proceeds to perform a miracle with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Everyone is satisfied. Jesus not only feeds his listeners with knowledge and understanding of God’s kingdom love, but he also literally feeds them. They have all they need through him. That’s the kind of leader Jesus is. He cares for and makes sure his people have what they need in the moment because he is their Lord.

What kind of shepherd do you want to be? You might be thinking: “I don’t lead or manage people.” If leadership is influence, that means you don’t have to have an official leadership title or position to lead others. You can be a shepherd to those you serve in your role at PHS. One thing that helps me serve others better is reflecting on how Jesus has served me through his love, mercy and giving of himself on the cross. Because he is my shepherd, I have all that I need.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on Psalm 23:1 together. Take a deep breath in as I read: “The Lord is my shepherd.” Exhale as I finish the verse reading: “I have all that I need.” Let’s try it now emphasizing different words within the passage.

THE Lord is my shepherd … I have all that I need.
The LORD is my shepherd … I have all that I need.
The Lord IS my shepherd … I have all that I need.
The Lord is MY shepherd … I have all that I need.
The Lord is my SHEPHERD … I have all that I need.

What words or feelings stood out to you as you participated in this exercise?

We learn and experience true leadership through Jesus our shepherd. How can you shepherd those in your care this week?

Pastor Matt Anderson lives in Chanhassen, Minn., with his wife Liz and their two teenaged children. When he’s not keeping busy with Bible teaching and pastoral visitations, you can find him playing guitar or reading.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series



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