Posts tagged ‘lions’

April 4, 2011

Sheep Need a Shepherd

by pastortimfowler

Last week I asked for ideas for my blog and someone named Kim gave me this one.
She thinks that the role of a pastor has changed over the last 20 years or so. I disagree. Okay, let me explain. The role of a pastor has never changed because it is one that is defined by God. His word and His job description will not change no matter what century we live in. Now I know what Kim is trying to get to, I am one of the few who can actually understand her. She sees a shift in the way pastors are being perceived and many are carrying out their responsibilities. There is a new wave of leadership in the church and many are taking a very open change in what tradition defined as the role of a pastor.
A pastor has always been closely related to a shepherd. In fact the word pastor comes from the Greek word meaning shepherd. These days we have no idea what that looks like because folks don’t have flocks of sheep everywhere like they use to. That has allowed the job description of a pastor to be manipulated by people and thus pastors have become what man wants not what God intended. So let me tell you some stuff that a shepherd did.
I guess the best description to some it up is this: The shepherd is to provide a safe, healthy environment for sheep to reproduce.
Safe. That means watching out for wolves and lions that want to kill the young and the weak. In a church environment these wolves and lions often take the form of control hungry people. They want the congregation to think that following one leader is bad and instead they split the church into smaller groups and tell them how wrong the shepherd is, thus leading them away from good food and fresh water and the protection of the shepherd.
Healthy. This means ensuring good food and enough food for all to eat. The right food for the young and old alike. Fresh water for all, free of the stuff that hides in stagnation and causes the sheep to puke the good stuff up because of the unseen bad stuff they ingested. And sometimes the worst danger to the entire flock is another sick sheep. Left to mingle with the rest of the flock, that one sick sheep will infect the whole herd if not separated until the sick one gets better. And yes, sometimes that even means permanently separating the sick one from the flock.
Finally, shepherds don’t grow flocks by purchasing more sheep from somewhere else. If you have a safe and healthy flock they will do what God designed them to do. They will reproduce. Healthy, safe sheep love to make babies. They fulfill something that God puts inside of them and the flock grows.
That is what the shepherd does; provides a safe, healthy environment for sheep to reproduce.
Today, there are some pastors who have become business men, sheep shearers, or vets that make the old sheep comfortable until they die. These are not pastors.
But I am thrilled to say that there is a growing desire to be a shepherd again in the church. Pastors are letting others worry about the things that were drawing them away from being shepherds of the flock and learning a valuable lesson…When the shepherd provides a safe, health environment and sheep are reproducing, the sheep love the shepherd and will follow him where he leads.
It is not complicated and it works. It is God’s design and that is why it works.
To my flock I say, I will do my best to keep the wolves and lions away and make sure that there is good food and water and that your health is good so that you can, eat, drink, and make babies!