shepherding the shepherd


The Gift of Fellow Shepherds

I treasure the fellowship of other pastors. There is this look that passes between us that says, “I know.” I’m so grateful that God opened my heart to fellow shepherds whose traditions are different from my own but who clearly love the Lord, his Word, and his people as deeply as I do.

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Our Risen Shepherd

David taught God’s people, “The LORD is my shepherd,” but if Jesus had not taken up his life again no one could “walk through the darkest valley” without fear of evil. Nor could we sing, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:6).

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‘One Flock and One Shepherd’

Who of us hasn’t marveled at the kinship we feel almost immediately upon meeting fellow believers from some faraway place? Added to that, pastors share a particularly special bond when we meet. How the Lord accomplished this is a flat-out miracle!

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In the Know

While God had always known his sheep, and his faithful people had known him through his words and deeds, Jesus here promised a new level of knowing—of intimate fellowship—between the Lord and his people: “… just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

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Laying Down Our Lives for the Sheep

When we entered the ministry, we didn’t reckon on just how much dying would be involved. To carry the sorrows and failings of our people, to step into their messes and walk with them in dark places, to wrestle constantly (sometimes publicly) with our own faults and weaknesses, and to know the stab of Satan’s thorns—all that takes a toll.

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I know you face incredible pressures, distractions, and duties, but I must remind you again: nothing pastors do matters more than our Wordwork. We enter people’s lives, both believers and unbelievers, like heralds with long brass trumpets, like physicians carrying scalpel and ointment, like nursing mothers and watchful fathers, like sowers with seeds, and sentinels with sword at the ready.

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