Print Version    Email to Friend
Leaders and followers

The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively recent feast day. The theme of the feast sets out to focus on the leadership model that Jesus has given to us through his own example.

The leadership model that Jesus lived out in the concrete is one that empowers, by recognising the gifts that each and every person possesses, as well as presenting guidelines, without ultimatums, orders or force.

However, not everyone is meant to be a leader, because if there is no one to follow, there would not be anyone to lead. Shepherds can only be a shepherd if there are sheep around.

However, the shepherd is not the only leader that the sheep have. In a flock, one sheep is always designated and recognised as a leader of sheep.

In the hinterlands of countries like Australia or the United States of America, where paddocks are measured in square miles, mobs of sheep can be seen travelling in single file across vast distances, leaving but a single trail behind them.

If a car tries to cut through a flock of sheep, one will dart in front of the car. The rest will follow at their own pace until the whole mob has passed in front of the impatient driver.

They follow their leader, or perhaps they are just out to annoy and try the patience of people travelling in cars!

People often regard sheep as being dumb, but they are far from it.

Leadership among the sheep means being the one that goes first through a paddock—the one that leads the group along a safe path with a good sense of direction.

However, sheep are not much different from people. The lead sheep can please some of the sheep some of the time, none of the sheep all of the time, and a few of the sheep most of the time.

Lead sheep are not always popular and sometimes make mistakes—that is why we see dead sheep on the side of the road or around railway lines! They may even be unaware of the presence of killer dogs or other predators.

Without getting too carried away with the sheep, it is sufficient to say that leadership is never easy. However, Jesus left us a model of leadership—a model that listens, laughs, demarcates, accepts responsibility, communicates and leads to God.

And that is what the Feast of Christ the King celebrates, because we all belong to a community and for any community to live healthily, each member must take on responsibility and not only be a follower, but also a leader in their own right.

On November 30, we celebrate the feast day of St. Andrew, a fisherman. He was a disciple of John the Baptist, but later first disciple of Christ; he then brought his brother Simon (St. Peter).

He went to Greece and was put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland.