He picked a sheep.
A fuzzy, sometimes dimwitted, needs-a-lot-of-help animal.
I’m a sheep. Baaaa!
But then I have the great picture of God as my loving Shepherd. How wonderful to know that the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want!
As a pastor I am called to be the shepherd to God’s flock of sheep under my watchful eye. Jesus set the example for me:
But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.
And Solomon said:
Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.
Pastors, here are the questions I’m asking of myself, and I invite you to ask them of yourself too:
- Do my sheep recognize my voice? Or am I trying to sound like someone else?
- Do I know all my sheep by name?
- Are my sheep following me as I follow Jesus?
- Am I willing to go first?
- Do I find fresh pastures and clean water for my sheep? Or is it recycled food I’m serving them?
- Am I spending enough time with my sheep to know the condition of each one?
- Do my sheep get my undivided attention?
What a privilege to be a pastor! What a responsibility! What a joy to know my sheep and to be known by them!
UPDATE: This post was one of the seed thoughts that went into fashioning my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.