January 10, 2010

A Pastor's Heart - Chef or Shepherd?

Jeremiah 3:15
I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
A pastor is someone who feeds his flock.

Did you notice that "pastors" and "feed" in that verse are the same Hebrew word? There's a connection there.

How did shepherds feed their flocks?

When I remember a verse like "Taste and see that the Lord is good," an analogy of a delicious gourmet meal comes to mind with lots of flavors to savor.

But shepherds didn't prepare and serve meals for their sheep. Instead, they led their sheep to green pastures and let them eat.

He wouldn't try and fill their stomachs. He would create the environment (or take them to an environment) where they could fill their own.

Food tastes better when you're hungry!

How many pastors spend 20 hours in a week unearthing and polishing a beautiful gem for their sermon on Sunday, and then get frustrated because their congregation treats it as if it's only worth the five minutes it took them to hear the point?

A pastor needs to know two things:
  1. Your people will get hungry.
  2. You will not need to make them eat.
Shepherding is about:
  1. Identifying fresh pastures in which to eat.
  2. Leading your people to them.
  3. Letting them eat.
Let them chew on a question. Let them taste all the flavors that are the richness of the knowledge and understanding of God. Teach them how to prepare a nutritious meal.

People need to know God, Who He is, how He thinks, how He operates, what makes Him tick. When they taste that for themselves, then they will see.

Teach the culinary arts of rightly dividing the word of truth.

John 21:12-17
Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said.

But none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.

Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?

He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.

Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?

He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.

Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?

Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.

Serve appetizers. Teach cooking.

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