Shepherd the flock of God which is among you… I Peter 5:2
I had the privilege of growing up in rural America. My parents served as pastors of our local Assembly of God church. I have sweet memories of attending four services a week, the occasional two-week long revival meetings (which meant church every night), and of course those amazing church potlucks. My parents did a great job modeling what it meant to lead like a shepherd. They took personal interest in everyone who attended and were continually connecting with the eldest to the youngest.
Our friend, Larry Osborne, recently wrote, “Leading well is not so much about the task of leadership as it is about the heart of leadership.” I would highly recommend Larry’s newest book, “Lead Like A Shepherd,” which provides a fresh look at what it means to pastor people in the 21st century.
Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; Proverbs 27:23
Being a shepherd of a local assembly is a high and holy calling. It is also hard work. Leading like a shepherd requires diligence, discipline and the display of genuine love even when it is not easy. How we care for those people in our assembly is vital. A regrettable comment I hear occasionally is, “My pastor is too busy to speak or pray with me.”
From my view, we all need to renew our focus of leading like a shepherd and not just a CEO. Taking time to speak personally to those who are in our care, pausing to pray with those who call us pastor, visiting the longtime attendee who is now housebound or patiently listening to the drama and dreams of a student who attends your church is all part of leading like a shepherd.
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5:2-4
I would encourage all of us in the OMN to remember…
1. A shepherd leads by example.2. A shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.3. A shepherd makes sure they are fed.4. A shepherd leads the sheep to water even when they fear it.5. A shepherd never allows one sick lamb to destroy the flock.6. A shepherd serves with enthusiasm.7. A shepherd keeps the future in mind.
Osborne says, "When leaders truly understand Peter's words of exhortation to lead like a shepherd, then they will begin to see the path that leads them to leading well."
Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28