Sheep and Goats

"But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." Matthew 25: 31-46

I don't have much experience with farm animals, so until my recent trip to Kenya I barely knew the difference between sheep and goats. As we were driving through Ahero (one of the newer communities we work with), I saw a young man trailing behind a large herd of goats and mistook animals as sheep. One of our Kenyan staff members was in the car with me and explained that you can always tell a shepherd from a goatherd from the position they take in the flock- goatherds always trail behind the goats, hitting the animals with sticks to lead them one direction or another, while shepherds will always be in front of their flocks of sheep, leading the group to the correct location with their presence and voices. 

Functionally, sheep and goats act the same- they end up in the place they are supposed to be, they follow directions. The difference is in their posture. Sheep are followers, goats run out in front, forcing their goatherds to chase after them. 

As leaders, I think it is particularly easy for us to fall into goat mentality. We want to get where we're going at our own pace and by our own will. But, if we learn anything from this scripture, its that the foolishness of the goat will catch up to him sooner or later. If there is one thing that should describe us as leaders, it should be that we are actually, firstly and most importantly, followers. 

“Follow my example, as I follow in the example of Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1

Paul beautifully summed up the desire to be a sheep - as leaders, we should always be focusing on following our shepherd before we focus on leading others.