I have rarely seen sheep except at a petting zoo. Everywhere in the pen they were in, there was sheep dung. Soft as they were on the outside, they were just sh*t machines. I read the Bible as a part of my study in the Word and there are a lot of references to shepherds- the people who keep these sheep in line.
In John, (John 10:1-18), Jesus talks about Himself as the shepherd and the shepherd’s responsibilities. That is good for me because it leaves me out of the dung. Then Jesus goes on and asks Peter to be His shepherd,(John 21:15-18). What got me today was the reference to the dangers and penalties for being a bad shepherd, (Jeremiah 23:1-4). String together these pieces and it hit me, God’s talking about us, you and me.
Here’s my logic. My pastor has a pastor who has a pastor. I’m not making this up, they really do. The pastor’s job is as a shepherd. The pastor is to keep sheep moving in a direction, protect them from danger and bring the lost sheep back into the fold. My pastor has his flock and I’m a member of his flock. If you follow the logic line, then I have the job of being a good pastor as well. It’s basically a family business if we are in the family of Christ. If you are a good pastor/shepherd, then you are with your sheep, meaning you are stepping in the dung.
If you and I are now shepherds, which I particularly do not like, then we have some sort of a flock to shepherd. I say that I don’t like it because I like it better when the pastor has the flock and I just hide in the middle. Now that I recognize that I am a shepherd, then I have responsibility.
Who do you and I have has a flock? Friends and family is the obvious answer. Sphere of influence, people we touch, that’s a bigger version of our flock. It is probably bigger than that as we gain in friends, family and people we touch. I believe that God is telling us in the scripture that we are shepherds and we have the job of shepherds. I actually never thought that a pastor had a pastor. Shepherds have shepherds. We get shepherded while we shepherd.
I have to figure out who my flock is. Then I have to figure out to be a good shepherd. I’m going to pray, study, listen to the Holy Spirit and then do.
I will be really candid. I am scared to be a shepherd, except I already am one. I did not think about the influence I am having on others and my responsibility as a shepherd. I have a shepherd who has a shepherd who has a shepherd and so on. Jesus Christ is THE SHEPHERD. All of this says that I am not alone or unsupported it just means that I have to own it, do the job and seek to be better.