Shepherding Isn't Glamourous! -The Pastoral Role of Shepherding the Flock
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
Pastors are described three ways in Scripture.
Presbuteros - elder (the character)-leadership, in example, in testimony
Episkopos - Bishop or overseer (the function)-oversight, feeding, protecting,
Poimen - shepherd (the attitude). ...-the motive and manner of church leadership
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; translated pastor or shepherd
I Peter 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Let's Talk Church is a podcast focused on connecting local church leaders through ministry focused conversation. In this episode I talk with Pastor Dennis Wilkening about the role of shepherd which describes the motive and manner of church leadership...in other words, how you relate to your people. In this episode we focus in on how the shepherding role of the pastor is described in Scripture and how we can best shepherd the flock that Christ has entrusted to our leadership.
1. Feed the Flock
you can be involved in many ministries but if you don’t have a message from God when you preach you have missed out on your greatest function as shepherd
stay fresh, current, and Biblical….can be a challenge when you preach 100-150 sermons per year
How to stay fresh…keep the grass green and not stale?
*through exploration of the unknown
*through fresh eyes, be willing to learn new things
2. Protect the Flock
just as in real life…there are sheep and there are also wolves
Coyote problem here in central NC, lurking, attack the vulnerable, devastate the herd
John 10:12-13 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
preach the truth…but also must expose error
John the Baptist called the pharisees “a generation of vipers” Matthew 3
Jesus called the pharisees “hypocrites, blind guides, whited sepulchers" as well
Paul called out Peter
Paul called out Demas (loved the world), Hymenaeus and Alexander, Philetus
*However, this is not the primary calling of the pastor…don’t let your ministry be characterized by always calling out others for their doctrine!
3. Lead the Flock
the flock will tend to scatter without a leader
not in a narcissistic or self-serving manner!
working with strong individuals, weak individuals, hurting individual, and selfish individuals
“When you come into work each put on your boots bring your shovel….working with sheep can get dirty."
A church without a leader will experience “a modern version of wilderness wanderings” - Lifeway.com
"I thrive on preaching. It’s a primary identity. My focus in seminary was preaching, with post-seminary study in homiletics. I teach preaching on a seminary campus occasionally. The proclamation of the gospel in sermon form is a profound aspect of my relationship with God. ...The hardest work I do is being a leader of the organization. Not surprisingly, it is the role for which I have had the least training.” David Davis blog
Must have a style that leads others to follow…encouraging and inspiring others to follow
Decision making process
-discuss theological underpinning for decisions
-take into consideration how those decisions will affect other believers
-how it will be perceived (must be considered!!)
Clear direction for the church
*These are learned skills…not taught in college or seminary!
*There are also earned skills…you earn the right to lead as you build relationships with them!
Martin Lloyd Jones said, “A pastor is a man who is given charge of souls. He is not merely a nice, pleasant man who visits people and has an afternoon cup of tea with them, or passes the time of day with them. He is the guardian, the custodian, the protector, the organizer, the director, the ruler of the flock.”
I hope you will strive to be a true shepherd to the flock of God!
May God richly bless you and your ministry!
Pastor DJ Harry