"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming."
One of the greatest things I have experienced as an athlete and now as a coach is the development of a team by the groups that have truly understood this concept. A true team does not happen simply because a group of players are organized into a unit. The true team consists of individuals who take ownership of their responsibility to work together and strive for the same goals. In this situation, individuals place the team above their individual aspirations.
The story of the good shepherd tells of a man who took ownership of his responsibility to care for the flock of sheep. He was willing to place himself in danger if wild animals threatened the sheep. In contrast, a hired man who does not own the sheep will flee for his own safety when the flock is threatened. The difference is ownership.
Jesus is our good shepherd. He gave his life for our sake. When the predator threatens us, He is there to protect us. We belong to Him. Today, ask yourself what you need to "own." Just as Jesus takes ownership of us (if we let Him), let us take ownership of the things He has asked us to do and entrusted to us.
1. Do I take ownership in my Christian faith?
2. Am I willing to place others' needs before my own?
3. Do I know Jesus as the good shepherd?