Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Shepherd Will Feed and Lead, Not Starve and Beat

One of the greatest lessons that I've learned in my ministry is that leadership of God's people must start within the heart. It's not something you can force to happen, oh sure you can have all of the good intentions you want and play along like your heart is there but you can only pretend for so long. Eventually your true colors will show and your true heart will be revealed through your words and actions. I can tell you all day long that I love you but if my actions reveal otherwise then who is being fooled?. I feel that too many pastors are in love with the thought of being a pastor instead of loving the job that entails being a pastor. 

If you study the life of a shepherd, you will find that everything they do is centered on the sheep. The shepherd will sacrifice everything for the life of the sheep. The shepherd will feed and lead, not starve and beat. I think many times that truth is forgotten or ignored. Too many shepherds today feel that they are to be exalted among the sheep. They harbor personal desires to be seen and heard, not for the message of the Gospel, but for their own self-esteem. If they don't receive the attention they so desire they will take their frustrations out on the sheep and even go as far as to blame the sheep for their own failures.

One important thing that shepherds, pastors, preachers, ministers, church leaders need to remember is the definition of the local church: "The New Testament church is a local assembly of baptized believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together to carry out the Great Commission." One key word in this definition is the word "voluntarily." In Knox County you will find a church on nearly every road. Just in the area I live there are 20 churches within a 3 mile radius of my home. I could choose to be a volunteer at any of these 20 churches. If I feel, as a sheep, that I am not being fed or lead, then I would certainly find greener pastures to graze in.

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