Are you a shepherd? The vast majority of spiritual shepherds don’t lead congregations. They don’t receive a salary; they never went to seminary; and they probably don’t really think of themselves as spiritual leaders. And yet, if you’re a believer in Christ and a change-maker, chances are you might be a shepherd.
If you long to see the Church be the Church … you might be a shepherd.
If you’re willing to help make that happen … you might be a shepherd.
If people ask you questions about the Bible … you might be a shepherd.
If you’re helping other people grow in their faith … you might be a shepherd.
If people look to you for guidance … you might be a shepherd.
If you have a healthy dissatisfaction with the way the world is, and are trying to figure out how you and others can make a difference … you might be a shepherd.
If you're a parent ... you are a shepherd.
Your career might have led you into sales, engineering, manufacturing, medicine, education, marketing, or politics, but if you’re helping others grow in Christ … you’re probably a shepherd. It may seem to you that you’re just trying to be a parent, or small group leader, or friend, or grampa, but to the one you’re leading it feels like you’re being a shepherd. And that’s a very good thing. Why? Because knowing you’re a shepherd makes sense of many of the questions your heart's been holding.
Why do people always ask you the tough questions? Why do you feel this weight of responsibility that others don’t? Why do you see things that need to change when others are happy as things are? Why doesn’t everyone’s heart burst with joy when they read certain Scripture verses? Why isn’t everyone as committed as you are? It’s because you’re a shepherd.
Now before you start wondering if you should quit your job, go to seminary, and start preaching every Sunday, the answer is probably no. (It might be yes, but please seek the Lord, invite input from your church leaders, and ask your spouse before thinking about going down that road.) Throughout history most spiritual shepherds were normal working stiffs just like you.
Your local congregation, your family, and your friends need you to be who you are. They are looking to you to help guide them. Of course, you should do it under the authority of your church's pastors and elders (or whatever you call them in your particular brand of Christianity). But, it’s likely your pastor can’t have the depth of relationship with the people in your circle of influence that you have. He’s not supposed to. You are.
So, if the shoe fits … be a shepherd. Look for more on this in upcoming articles.
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