Saturday, January 20, 2024

On "Feeding Sheep"

A friendly "pastoral" reminder to my elder/pastor friends: Shepherds do not feed sheep. Of course, if a newborn lamb loses its mother at birth, you will have to bottle feed it. But that's the exception to the rule: Shepherds do not feed their sheep. They provide good, green hay or grass where the sheep feed themselves. 

I would love to see among pastor-teachers a renewed emphasis on leading people to the Scriptures and encouraging them to feed there themselves. Maybe this is why Jesus forbade his disciples to call anyone "father" or "teacher" (Matt. 23:8-10).

Like the consumer culture we live in, many churches today have adopted a secular mindset when it comes to the pastorate. We pay the pastors to do the hard work of Bible study for us while we sit back and offer our criticisms. Where is that in the Bible? Want to sit at the feet of the apostles today? Open your New Testament. The best pastors and teachers of my acquaintance always asked me to do that. I have deeply respected that attitude among the pastors I've known. One of them would say to me, "Dave, come to church to supplement what you've been doing all week in your daily Bible time." That remains one of the greatest lessons I've learned in my 48 years of teaching. 

All preaching should lead people to the Scriptures.