Will the real Pastors please stand up!?
I want to challenge and encourage those currently leading God’s people as pastors or “shepherds”. And I also want to call out those men and women who are sitting on the sidelines but you know that God is calling you into that shepherd role – it’s time to answer the call!
The last few days I’ve been reading through the book of Jeremiah. This is a powerful book containing many prophecies from God, given to his people through the prophet Jeremiah. One of the words that kept jumping out at me was the word “shepherd.”
God has chosen to entrust men and women to care for and lead people on His behalf. The role of the pastor is crucial and not to be taken lightly. Not only in the book of Jeremiah but all throughout God’s word you can see God crying out for true pastors to step into their role and care for His people the way that He does.
Listen to the heart of God coming through these couple verses in Jeremiah 12.
Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolated before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares. (Jeremiah 12:10-11 NIV)
In this generation we live in today we need true shepherds to stand up and lead, protect, correct, and love people the way God does. We have enough self-serving leaders both outside and inside the church, we need men and women to care and pastor people like Jesus does.
One of the most crucial things for all pastors to remember is highlighted in Jeremiah 10:21.
The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered. (Jeremiah 10:21 NIV)
If you’re going to pastor HIS people well, we need to diligently and consistently INQUIRE OF THE LORD. How can we assume to lead and care for his people if we don’t ask him what they need and what the best way to care for them is? It’s similar to when you are asked to watch a friends child. When you’re watching someone else’s child, you’re going to ask some questions, like what do they eat? Are they allergic to anything? When’s their nap schedule? Are they potty-trained? As a pastor of God’s people we’ll get the best results when we ask him what the people need. We’ll get his heart and his instruction for His people.
Let’s consider our own lives. If you’re a pastor or you are feeling the call into pastoral leadership, be mindful that God is looking for true-shepherds that will lay down their agenda for His and do everything they can to love, lead and care for people like he does. If you’re doing that already? Awesome, keep it up and help train other pastors to do the same. If you’ve been self-serving or you’ve neglected to inquire of the Lord, this is a great day to realign your heart. A great and simple prayer would be, “God, help me love people like you do, care for them like you would and lead them where you want them to go.”
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Acts 20:28
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