Thursday, July 9, 2009

Walking Together

As I look back to days when I was a younger pastor, I think I see that my fuel tank was filled mostly with zeal. Now, I certainly hope that fiery zeal is not gone, but I hope by now it has been thoroughly mixed with compassionate wisdom. This is what I think we should see in a pastor. Taking a look at 1 Peter 5:1-5, we see that pastors are called to shepherd the flock (the local church) and give oversight to it as well. Both of those words are verbs in the text. So English 101 tells us they are not descriptors, but a call to action.

The oversight should be delivered as, “This is the way we should go, now let’s go together.” It should not be delivered as, “This is the way you should go, now go.” See the difference there? One thing to notice is the change of the pronoun. It shifted from you to we. This feeds into the second observation, the shift from “you go” to “let’s go”. All along the way, the shepherd should have a vision and be leading that way, but he should be found walking among the sheep as they head that way together. The shepherd finds satisfaction not just in reaching the destination, but in the group reaching it together.

I pray this is what God is doing and will do in my heart. I pray that He will give me vision, but also give me wisdom to walk among those I shepherd. And, it’s not only my prayer for my role as a vocational pastor. It should also apply in my roles as a husband, father and friend.

Most likely you are helping to shepherd someone. How are treating them? Is your level of zeal evenly mixed with this compassionate wisdom to walk alongside them as a fellow pilgrim? In the end, a “know it all” doesn’t provide much help. Yes, they might have been right in knowing the correct destination or decision, but they sure didn’t provide any help to get there. Are you walking among those God has called you to shepherd?

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Another good one! Every day I am made more aware that God sent us the "pastor" that we earnestly prayed and prayed for. I cannot thank Him enough.