The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11). He cares more for them than for himself! What a picture of our Lord’s goodness to us.
But do shepherds who minister under the aegis of the Chief Shepherd have the same attitude?
Rarely would they ever find it necessary to die for their flocks, but how many are even willing to “put themselves out” for them?
The concern and care for the sheep that a Shepherd ought to exercise will mean time, laying things aside that might otherwise be pleasant activities to engage in, and so forth. Perhaps less TV, a tight schedule that differs from that of the majority of his flock, etc. While not slighting his family, he may have to forgo many of the ordinary pleasures that others enjoy. When a shepherd knows the names of his favorite baseball team, but doesn’t know the names of all of the sheep under his care, something is wrong.
Shepherds, think about the task that God has given you. Prospective shepherds also, give full consideration to the laborious task that you are entering into before you take ordination vows. None of this becoming a minister because “grandma always wanted me to!” Be sure you have what it takes to undertake the task.
The ministry isn’t child’s play. It’s difficult—but it has rich rewards from the Lord that only a true shepherd understands.