I don’t know too many people who have not heard about The Good Shepherd…. Christians take the expression to heart and KNOW it is referring to our Loving Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – non Christians have heard the expression but simply ignore it I think.
Even the 23rd Psalm is well-known by Christians and non Christians alike and often times used at funerals and memorial service. The Lord Yahweh is the Good Shepherd that King David speaks about in this most beautiful of Psalms. And in John’s Gospel (10:11) Jesus declares that he is the good shepherd thus making him God. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”. That means you and me!
Who are the shepherd’s in your life?
A. A pastor is a shepherd to the church.
B. An elder or deacon is a shepherd within the body.
C. A husband is a shepherd to his wife.
D. Parents are shepherds to their children.
E. A teacher is a shepherd to his students.
F. An employer is a shepherd to his employees.
G. An older child is a shepherd to his younger brothers and sisters.
H. Anyone who in any way leads anyone is a ‘shepherd’ who is responsible for the care of another.
Of course the one that concerns us intimately as Church is the role of the Pastor as Shepherd of the flock. Pastor Henry Dyck has some advice for us here. This is specific advice for congregations. (Find the complete sermon, from this Side of the Fence, at http://www.bfmc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=86).
- Pray, pray, pray for your pastors and then pray some more.
- Submit to their leadership (IF they have shown themselves to be true to the Word of God in all areas of their life)
- Toss out the cookie cutter. Pastors are not all the same.
- Be openly responsive to their ministry and encourage them by telling them so.
- Become involved in church ministry and church life instead of sitting on the sidelines and tossing bricks.
- Stop the gossip. This is a destructive tool of Satan.
- Focus on the big picture. Church is not about us but it is about those who are not here yet.
Let’s think on these things a minute or two. Instead of asking if our pastor is worthy of us, maybe we need to ask if we are worthy of them.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13-Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labour among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]—your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you. And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for my pastor, _____________. I ask that you protect them and their families. Help me to be a helpful parishioner, not a whining fence sitter. We offer this prayer In Christ’s Holy Name. Amen.