Heathy Sheep Need A Healthy Shepherd

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I had a great time on the Thriving In Ministry podcast with Kyle Willis and Dace Clifton. 

Their podcast is all about helping pastors avoid burnout. That’s definitely a message that resonates with my heart too! Long before I stepped into the pastorate, I was actively involved in encouraging pastors and helping protect them from the many slings and arrows that get thrown at them. 

Pastors, we need to remain healthy. Only healthy shepherds can create a healthy environment for the sheep under their care. Jesus not only gave us the example for mental, physical, spiritual, and relational health, but the Holy Spirit wants to help us today to be that kind of wholly healthy leader. 

If you’re a pastor, I believe you will be energized by reading or listening to my book. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple. 

If you love your pastor, get a copy to give as a gift. If you believe that your pastor would benefit from reading my book, but you don’t have the funds available to purchase it at this time, please leave me a comment below and I’ll make sure I get a copy to you. 

It takes everyone in the Body of Christ being actively involved for both the shepherd and sheep to remain healthy! 

If you’ve missed any of the other clips I’ve shared from this interview, please check them out here:

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Shepherds Are Still Sheep

Pastor shepherds are also sheep themselves. Pastors can only lead well to the extent that they are being led by the Great Shepherd!

In the forward to my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter,  Dick Brogden wrote this:

“Stunningly, the Good Shepherd has put the care of His foolish flock into the hands of under-shepherds who tend to be somewhat stupid ourselves. The grand gamble only works if under-shepherds studiously lead in the way that Jesus instructed us to—and therein is the rub, for none of us naturally agrees with His model. Our flesh, culture, ambitions, and propensities all fight Shepherd Leadership like the plague. We may kiss the concept theoretically, but we fundamentally flee from it functionally. … 

“It is good to be a sheep; it is good to be an under-shepherd. Just remember you are stupid, chosen by the Wise One, and as long as you serve as a shepherd, you and your flock will be safe. 

“The book you are about to read is a refreshing look at leading as a sheep, of serving like our Chief Shepherd. I trust you will benefit from it as much as I did.” 

Get more info on my book by going to ShepherdLeadershipBook.com.

9 Quotes From “Shepherding God’s Flock”

T.M. Moore has given pastors a phenomenal training resource in Shepherding God’s Flock. Please be sure to check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“The work of church leaders today—and especially of that class of leaders called elders, with which this study is concerned—has been shaped and conditioned more by the temper of our times than by the teaching of God’s Word.” 

“According to Paul, any church that does not have in place elders—and other leaders working with them—who are functioning as shepherds is a church that is not in order.… A church without a strong ministry of shepherding is a flock without genuine pastoral care, oversight, and equipping. It may be very active, even happy, and may be ‘growing’ in what some consider impressive ways. But without shepherding as the framework and integrating dynamic, such a church will always be something less than what God intends.” 

“Where the work of shepherding is being faithfully pursued, the gospel goes forth with power, lost sheep are located, and the flocks of God grow as He adds new souls to the fold.” 

“Where faithful shepherds are at work, the Lord’s sheep will be well fed. Both milk and the meat of the Word will be their daily diet, according to the needs and callings of each. Well-fed sheep are healthy, strong, and fruitful in their own contributions.” 

“The work of shepherding begins in relationships of mutual love and trust, spiritual friendships where sheep and shepherd know, love, and care about one another.” 

“Only when the people feel known and loved, and only when they know and love those who are called to lead them—only then will they be willing to follow where the shepherds of the church are seeking to take them.” 

“In the Christian life, people tend to live up to or achieve, not the level of their abilities, for their abilities are virtually limitless, given the presence of the indwelling Spirit of God. Rather, they tend to live up to the level of their vision—of what they see for their lives in Christ. Unless we are leading them into God’s vision for their lives, the people of God will settle for something less than the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

“When temptation arises we can follow one of two courses. Either we will fall through temptation into sin, or we will grow through temptation into a higher stage of sanctification. … The shepherd’s task is twofold: first, he must help the Lord’s sheep to recognize temptation, by grounding them firmly in the law and Word of God; second, he must equip and encourage them in finding the way of escape from temptation, so that they may grow as the Lord intends.” 

“Jesus’ approach to bearing witness was thus energetic, proactive, continuous, compassionate, and pioneering. Should we expect anything less from the shepherds He has left to bring other lost sheep into His fold?”

True Shepherds

T.M. Moore“True shepherds go to their sheep, where they are, to watch over their souls and equip them for ministry.” —T.M. Moore

Jesus said His sheep knew His voice. Pastor,

  • Do your sheep know your voice?
  • Are you accessible to them?
  • Do you initiate contact with them?
  • Do they see you laugh and play with them?
  • Do you know where they work, study, live, and play?
  • Can you pray for very specific needs in their lives?

Just something to think about…

UPDATE: This post was one of the seed thoughts that went into fashioning my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.

Baaaa!

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible.

Of all the things God could have used as a picture of our relationship with Him, He used an animal. And, no, it wasn’t an animal that seems particularly powerful or smart or noble.

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!

Baaaa!

UPDATE: This post was one of the seed thoughts that went into fashioning my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? ◀︎◀︎

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