Day 11 / John Study / She Reads Truth
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
We have a GOOD SHEPHERD, not a cold general…true words from Claire Gibson today:)
I learned many years ago, that the way to structure any fruit bearing ministry, is not to be a general but a shepherd. To model Christ to others with the intention of creating a “trickle down” effect.
If we intentional Shepherd our leaders (care for, guide, protect, come alongside, communicate regularly, train up) they will then, in turn, shepherd others. They will have received the benefits from the Shepherd. Fruit will grow and their hearts will desire to share. It naturally occurs when we experience Christ’s goodness and provision. We know His voice and we desire to follow. He calls us to proclaim the Good News…to “pay it forward.”
In Acts 20:28, Paul refers to pastors.
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock (church), in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
Here, however, he uses the verb form of the word, which is translated “to feed” (ASV) or “to care for” (ESV). Pastors feed, tend, and protect the church. They are to do all the things that a shepherd would do for a flock.
Those of us who function as an “overseer” (someone in leadership) are called to care for the flock in this way.
“Pastors are to feed their people with the Word, exhorting them in sound doctrine (Tit. 1:9–10), proclaiming to them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Pastors are to guard their people against false doctrine and those who would lead them astray (Acts 20:29–31). Pastors are to lead their people by providing a godly example (Heb. 13:7), equipping them for ministry (Eph. 4:12), and wisely directing the affairs of the church (1 Tim. 5:17). Pastors are to care for their people by tenderly providing whatever counsel, help, and encouragement they need.”
-Bobby Jamieson (a PhD student in New Testament at the University of Cambridge.)
In a word, pastors care. They don’t just care about their people, they care for them. They know them. They seek them out.
Intentionally Shepherding is a form of pastoring. As we model Christ, the Good Shepherd to others, they can experience Him in a tangible way.
They will know His love and learn to hear His voice.
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. -John 10
Our Good Shepherd goes after every lost sheep. Oh, how grateful I am for His heart to save His wandering flock!
“There are times when I’d still prefer to follow a god who sends orders via envelope or email, telling me explicitly where to go and what to do next. But that’s not real relationship. The direction and assurance I seek—that each of us need—are found solely in Jesus, the Shepherd-God.
We move toward Him, not only because we want to, but because He is the only Way. His voice is the only one we were meant to follow.”
May we each have ears to hear our Good Shepherd ❤️