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Role of a Shepherd

Role of a Shepherd

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Published by tsupasat
A lesson that describes what is expected of a spiritual helper (shepherd/mentor), using Psalm 23 as a guide to show us how God provides spiritual care for us.
A lesson that describes what is expected of a spiritual helper (shepherd/mentor), using Psalm 23 as a guide to show us how God provides spiritual care for us.

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Published by: tsupasat on Jun 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Role of a Shepherd
In Ephesians 4, Paul says that God give five special gifts to the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. All of these are necessary for the maturity of the church, but to me, the ministry of the pastor is special. The role of the pastor, or shepherd, is special for me because I believe this is one of the five-fold ministries thatmost resembles Jesus.A pastoral role is special because all Christians have some responsibility to showlove and care for one another. At some level, we are all called to be a shepherd toChristians who are younger than ourselves in the faith. Not everyone is a pastor, but we all function in pastoral ministry to some extent. I personally believe that we need more pastors in the church than apostles, prophets,evangelists, or teachers. There always seems to be a lack of people who have the heart toshepherd God’s people.
Importance of the shepherd role
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus restored Peter and gave him his mostimportant calling. In John 21:15-17, Jesus makes it clear that if Peter truly wanted to prove his love for Jesus, then he must love Jesus’ sheep. Jesus did not call Peter to be anapostle or evangelist, although Peter eventually filled both those roles. Jesus called Peter to be a pastor, a shepherd, and a spiritual overseer.In 1 Timothy 3:2, Paul says that whoever has the goal of becoming an overseer inthe church desires a noble task. To be a shepherd is a high calling.
Responsibilities of a shepherd
King David, who himself was a shepherd for many years and also a shepherd for the entire nation of Israel, wrote Psalm 23 to describe how God shepherds His people. Inthese verses, we can see the responsibilities of a good shepherd.
Nourish the sheep with spiritual food
Psalm 23:2 says “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” When sheep are putinto green pastures, they eat until they are satisfied and lie down to rest. In the same way,spiritual shepherds need to provide their sheep with sufficient spiritual food.We need to be hungry for God’s word ourselves so that we’re always learning andgathering new material to pass on to our sheep. We need to make our own heartsstorehouses of the treasures of God’s word, so that we can bring out the appropriateteaching. This requires constant hunger to learn ever-deeper truths about God’s word.
 Matthew 13:52
 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about thekingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom newtreasures as well as old.”
Shepherds need to understand the learning styles of their sheep, their ability tohandle different teaching, and the timeliness of each topic.
Lead the sheep to spiritual refreshment
Psalm 23:2 also says “… he leads me beside quiet waters.” We need to lead our sheep to spiritual water, which is the Holy Spirit.Our ministry needs to be the Holy Spirit’s ministry. If we only plan and actaccording to our human wisdom, our sheep will soon be spiritually thirsty. Shepherdsneed to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and teach their sheep to be sensitive as well. Weshould teach our sheep how to receive spiritual refreshment by praying with them,sharing our God-given joy, and demonstrating how we receive supernatural strength intimes of difficulty.We must lead them to experience a life-giving relationship with the Holy Spirit sothey can refresh themselves whenever they are dry. When we meet with them, we should be sure to talk about spiritual things. Ask them what they’ve learned or experienced withGod lately. Talk with them about the things going on in their life and help them to seehow God plays a role.
Help in spiritual restoration
Psalm 23:3 says “… he restores my soul.” We must also help our sheep heal their spiritual sicknesses and wounds. We should work to restore our sheep to a rightrelationship with God and others when those relationships are broken.In Galatians 6:2, Paul says that Christ’s law for Christians is that they carry oneanother’s burdens. Shepherds especially cannot ignore the spiritual illnesses of their sheep. They should look carefully to see if their sheep are discouraged or have badattitudes. We should aim to restore them to full and vigorous spiritual health.We may need to confront our sheep in love. Paul tells Timothy to gently instructthose who oppose him, without being resentful (2 Timothy 2:24-26). How much moreshould we patiently bear with the people God has given us special watch over?Sometimes people need encouragement. We should always be ready to encourageour sheep with words full of faith.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 
 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak,be patient with everyone.
We should instruct, encourage, show love in practical ways, but the mostimportant thing we can do to help restore people spiritually is to pray for them. We needto intercede on their behalf. Samuel was the last of the prophets to lead Israel. When heanointed a king to lead in his place, he promised he would pray for the nation, which washis spiritual flock, that they would always follow God.
1 Samuel 12:23
 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
Guide the sheep in godly living
Psalm 23:3 also says, “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’ssake.” Good sheep follow their shepherd, for better or worse. We need to set a goodexample for everyone, but especially for those who we take responsibility for as

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