Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Bleating of One Sheep

"Baaa......"  When sheep bleat they are usually wondering because something seems amiss......"  Here's the bleating of this Sheep.....

Shepherd. "Shepherding." Pastor. Pastoring   Interesting words, "pastor," "shepherd." Two words that mean the same thing: Caretaker of sheep. At the very most not a coveted position: to work apart from the maddening crowds, isolated, poor. Why? Hazards of the vocation: caring for sheep. Dumb animals, sheep. Followers. Pretty much helpless; exposed to the elements, to predators, to disease....needing almost constant attention, care and preventative measures.

Why talk about pastors, about shepherds, about sheep? Because the Living Word does. Humans are referred to as 'sheep.' Not very complimentary....but accurate, true. Humans, at best, are followers. As much as we would like to think of ourselves as something else, we're not. We are in desperate need of a Shepherd.

 Jesus is referred to as the "Good Shepherd."  Implication? There are "not-so-good-shepherds." There are "bad" shepherds.  There are "other" shepherds.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He, ultimately, cares for His Christ-Followers. However, Jesus shares this position of care w/mere humans. To be a "shepherd, a pastor" is one of the spiritual gifts. The role of "pastor" is gifted by the Holy Spirit, not by committee.  One does not 'apply' for the position, just as one does not apply for any of the spiritual gifts.  By definition, the Holy Spirit GIVES the gifts to believing individuals FOR THE EQUIPPING OF GOD'S PEOPLE TO DO HIS WORK! How do we know this? The Living Word says so! Ephesians 4: I Corinthians 12....

So, my musing is this: How can one person, man or woman, pastor/shepherd 'sheep' they do not know, who do now know them? In John 10 Jesus reminds us how important it is for the shepherd to 'call his sheep by name' and for the sheep to 'know their shepherd's voice' in order for there to be trust. Relationship. How does one have a relationship with an image on a screen? Who is able to know the names of thousands of sheep who are herded in groups to the 'pen'? Where is the contemporary disconnect...or is there one?  Is the current way of 'doing church,' of "feeding the flock" by DVD, web streaming,' conventions', mass gatherings, the best we can offer? Really? Or, perhaps, we may be sacrificing BEST on the altar of GOOD?

What do you think?  Better yet, what is taught in the Living Word?  My own personal standard is "how did Jesus interact with______________(insert any topic.)  His way, hands down, IS THE BEST.  So, I have to ask myself, "Whose idea was it is 'mass produce' shepherding?" and the more insidious unspoken question, "Why?  Who is getting the glory?"

One Sheep Baaing.....