Two things I am passionate about… Leadership and women! When it comes to leading women in a spiritual or a relational sense, I love the term… SHEPHERDING! The Bible calls us SHEEP and that is anything but a compliment.
Sheep are DUMB!
We need someone to look after us and care for us! We need THE GOOD SHEPHERD (GOD) and it’s a privilege to shepherd others well as we follow HIS example. Shepherding represents humble and confident leadership.
A shepherd of women is someone who is willing to draw from her own relationship with Jesus Christ, life experiences, gifts, and abilities to encourage another women.
Although a shepherd of women is still growing and learning, she is willing to give out of what she has gained in life to help another woman along the way. Her ultimate aim is to see the women she shepherds reach into Jesus’ hand with a stronger “hold’ than before.
Lingering in the presence of the Good Shepherd is the best way to reflect the profile of a good shepherd.
From my personal experience, here’s a few things I’ve learned about shepherding women…
1. We can not assume that because people like talking about their problems, they actually want to move forward. “Drains” in our communities can potentially drain even the best intentioned shepherd. Shepherds need to set and hold clear boundaries. Look for women with teachable spirits. Women who want to move forward and will follow through with the suggestions or homework you’ve given them. Shepherds must respect the choice of others. It’s her choice to accept or reject it.
2.Receive the gift of limits.
—What I can do:
-Be a listener
-Designate time to be available
-Get more help
-Pray for her
-Suggest professional help
—What I cannot do:
-Go without regular sleep
-Do it all alone
-Cure her hurts or fix it
-Erase past pain/ choices
3. Even though another’s pain might not be something you enjoy seeing, it might be a necessary part of that person’s growing.
A woman goes to the dentist for a toothache. Once the novacain is injected and the mouth is numbed, the pain is gone. Should the woman believe she no longer needs the dentist’s work because the pain is relieved, she will likely experience pain again within a few hours. A delay in dealing with the root problem may actually intensify the decay, which will extend the pain while further limiting repair options.
SIMPLY RELIEVING A WOMAN’S PAIN MAY NOT BE THE MOST HELPFUL CARE. It is in a painful place that God gets our best attention. To relieve the pain may be to rob the woman of God’s best work in her life.
4. When do sheep need a vet?
–Shepherds play a valuable role of walking alongside, and offering continued support and care. But counselors can dig deep and handle things professionally.
–One of the dangers of being a shepherd of women is assuming that the ability or responsibility to restore women to health belongs to the shepherd alone. 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 of woman must know how to use referral resources.
–The Shepherd’s role is to introduce the woman in pain to the Chief Shepherd. You may have one piece or be the one to lead her to the next piece of the puzzle of her life. That one piece is important, but it is one piece. You may have the phone #, or a resource, or a book. Your prayer support may be the strategic gift you give.
“There is a God and you aint’ Him”. The Savior role is already filled. Only He has all the answers and the power to implement those solutions.