I have the privilege to speak at a Women’s Leadership Training Event tomorrow night so I wanted to share with you some of my notes as I prepare.
The topic for tomorrow night will be… Shepherding.
What is a SHEPHERD??
Well, I’m glad you asked… Many times throughout the Bible… Jesus is referred to as Our Shepherd (John 10, 1 Peter 5, Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34, etc.). So as we (leaders, pastors, parents, etc.) seek to take care of His Sheep, we are following in His footsteps… what a privilege!!
So I’ve put together a top 10 list entitled:
YOU MIGHT BE A SHEPHERD IF…
#10: You are devoted to loving, protecting and caring for the sheep, not using them for your gain. Are you more concerned with your title/ position or do you genuinely care about the sheep in your sphere of influence?
#9: You run into an emergency crisis or an urgent need rather than running away from a situation that may compromise your comfort. Are you accessible? Do you return phone calls/ e-mails/ texts?
#8: You view your position as a calling not a job. Shepherds realize that God has uniquely gifted and called them. Are you so in love with THE SHEPHERD that it is your joy to love on His Sheep? Are you willing to draw on your own relationship with Jesus Christ, life experiences, gifts and abilities to encourage others?
#7: You recognize that you are still growing and learning, yet you are willing to give out what you have gained in life to help others along the way. Is your ultimate goal to see people that you shepherd reach into Jesus’ hand with a stronger “hold” than before?
#6: You are willing to fight wolves. A shepherd is willing to put in emotional energy to stand up to bullies to prevent sheep from suffering. Will you stand up to bad theology and wolves who seek to destroy the sheep? Or are you more concerned with you comfort, convenience, and ease of life?
#5: Your number one priority is that the people of God are cared for. You are accessible, you respond to needs, you are available and you follow through.
#4: You recognize what you can and can’t do. For example, you CAN: be a listener, designate time to be available, get more help, pray, suggest professional help. What you CANNOT do: change them, go without regular sleep, do it all alone, cure hurts or fix them, erase past pain/ choices. Have you received the gift of limits? Maturity in life is when someone is living joyfully within their God-given limits.
#3: You understand that just because people like talking about their problems doesn’t mean they actually want to move forward. “Drains” in our communities can potentially drain even the best intentioned shepherd. Do you set and hold clear boundaries?
#2: You recognize when a sheep needs to visit the vet. In other words, do you have discernment to know when a sheep needs professional help? The Good Samaritan enlisted the help of the innkeeper. The paralytic of Mark 2 had the help of four friends who brought him to Jesus for healing. None of these good helpers brought healing alone, but with the help of community they were able to find the needed resources that resulted in healing. A shepherd must know how to use referral resources.
#1: You understand that lingering in the presence of the Good Shepherd is the best way to reflect the profile of a good shepherd!!!!