Friday, April 26, 2013
Are you a tender or pretender?
If you truly care for people you take time. When you act like you care for people, you find ways around that time!! (John 21:15-17) There are many who may disagree with me here, but if you are called to be a pastor, you are called to care for the flock. Today so many people feel that growth in the church comes in numbers. Not so at all, it is the quality in those numbers that is important!
As shepherds we are responsible for the flock no matter the size, we will stand before God and give an accounting. (II Cor.5:9-11) This is speaking of Christians in general, yet it has no less meaning for pastors! James tells us that we will, as teachers, be held to a higher standard vs.1. If we truly search the scriptures, we will see without a doubt, we have a greater responsibility!
The term shepherd is used in many ways from Jesus too the epistles, they are to care for, nurture, protect, the flock from any harm! They are to leave the 99 and go after the 1. They cannot do that if the flock is too big to handle or they are expecting everyone else to do what they have been called to do! You notice I used the term called? I feel today that has been lost in translation somehow.
Ministry, is just that ministry. It is not a job, it is not a position we attain too because we are popular! It is a calling of God to care for His people. We are to be an example of Jesus, touchable, sensitive, compassionate, and most importantly someone who has time for them! If we are the senior Pastor of a congregation, we are no less responsible for that congregation.
Though we may need help, we are still accountable for what is going on in the body of Christ! We still need to meet with our leaders to be brought up to speed, and to still handle the more difficult situations. If we indeed look at it as a job, a position to the next level we are missing the point and God's intention for that office.
I love the challenge of Jesus to Peter in John 21:15-17-So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these? He said to him, yes, Lord; you know that I love You. He said to him, feed my lambs. 16-He said to him and second time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? He said to Him, yes, Lord; You know I love You. He said to him tend My sheep. 17-He said to him a third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, feed my sheep.
We are either tending His sheep or pretending to be, no matter, the tenders are called, and the pretenders are doing a job! God and the flock know the difference, do you as a shepherd? Why, if you are truly called, would you not care or be concerned, and take the time to know, what is truly going on in your church. Don't just take peoples word for it. Go, show them you care enough to take the time. Be the filler in the cracks they are falling through, and see if that will not make the difference in just growing numbers or growing disciples!