5. All the early patriarchs were pastoralists: Abraham Isaac Jacob 6. God trained His leaders in the pasture – not in the classroom. 7. The Sheepfold = God’s Bible School…Seminary…Graduate School of Leadership. Not… MBA = Masters of Business Administration MSA = Masters of Sheep Administration 8. Read: Ezek. 34 & Jn. 10 = “Job Description of a Biblical Leader.
Shepherding Voices “…He brought His people out like a flock; He led them like sheep through the desert” (Ps. 78:52) “Here us, O Shepherd of Israel, You who led Joseph like a flock…” (Ps. 80:1); “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture” (Ps. 100:3) “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Ps. 23:1)
Shepherding Voices “Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever” (Ps. 28:9) Jacob said: “God…has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (Gen. 48:15). Through the prophet Isaiah God said: “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs I His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young” (Isa. 40:11). “…I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15)
Shepherd Leaders in the Bible 1. Abraham “Abraham had become very wealthy in livestock, and in silver and gold” (Gen. 13:1). 2. Isaac “Isaac planted crops in the land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him” (Gen. 26:12-14). 3. Jacob (Married Rachel who “…was a shepherdess.”). His father-in-law, Laben’s herds, prospered under Jacob’s shepherding. Through “selective breeding” of “speckled, spotted & dark-colored sheep or lamb” he prospered: “In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks…” (Gen. 30:43).
Shepherd Leaders in the Bible 4. Joseph “Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers…” (Gen. 37:2). 5. Moses He tended his father, Jethro’s sheep for 40 years (Ex. 2:16ff). His prayer for Israel: “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd” (Num. 27:15- 17).
Shepherd Leaders in the Bible 6. David “He chose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought him to be the shepherd of His people Jacob, of Israel His inheritance” (Ps. 78:71). And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Ps. 78:72). 7. Amos “…I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd…but the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel” (Amos 7:14)
The Greatest Shepherd Leader Ever 8. Jesus: “But you, Bethlehem, in he land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of My people Israel” (Matt. 2:6) “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jn. 10:10). “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36) Benediction: “…the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20-21) (Those from the ‘Great Tribulation’): “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17).
Marks of a Shepherd A Shepherd… 1. LIVES WITH THE SHEEP: Jesus said: “I am the gate for the sheep…whoever enters through Me will be saved” (Jn. 10:7-8). Note: The word ‘gate’ denotes permanence presence. Pastoring and parenting are parallel callings; you cannot be a good parent ‘in absentia.’ Parenting requires presence 24/7 – especially when the ‘lambs’ are infants and babies. Christmas Story: “And there were shepherds in the field, watching their flocks by night” (Lk. 2:8).
Marks of a Shepherd 2. LOVES THE SHEEP: (HOW? 5 Ways) Loves by Speaking: (Jesus said): “…the sheep listen to His voice. He calls his own sheep by name” (Jn. 10:3). “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me – just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father…” (Jn. 10:14).
Marks of a Shepherd: Loves the Sheep Principle: Speaking is unique to humans. No other animals can speak like men and women can. Speaking…talking…communicating is essential to ‘knowing.’ Note: Intimacy here in knowing. The shepherd initiates the ‘knowing’ by ‘being known.’ Question: “How do you get to ‘know’ someone? By spending time with them…revealing yourself to them… being transparent with them. Therefore, how do you spell ‘LOVE?” TIME! Principle: “Knowing” is a proof of “loving.” Remember: ‘Listening’ is an act of ‘learning’ and a sign of ‘loving.’
Marks of a Shepherd 3. Loves by Satisfying “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly…to the full… ‘better than they ever dreamed of’ (The Message; Jn. 10:10). Remember: The role of the shepherd is to satisfy the sheep – not satisfy himself. The satisfaction of the shepherd is the satisfaction of the sheep! Most leaders – like many parents, seek for their own satisfaction rather than the satisfaction of their sheep.
Marks of a Shepherd: Loves by Satisfying Paul said: Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others…For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved” (I Cor. 10:24, 33). “Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please Himself…” (Rom. 15:2-3). “Love is not self-seeking” (I Cor. 13:5). “I am ready to visit you…and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well” (II Cor. 12:14-15).
Marks of a Shepherd 4. Loves by Seeking “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (Jn. 10:16). Note: True shepherds unify rather than divide the sheep. False shepherds divide and devour the sheep!
Marks of a Shepherd 5. Loves by Securing “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:27-30). Note: To love the sheep is to secure the sheep (Study: “Levels of Spiritual Maturity” I Jn 2).
Marks of a Shepherd 6. Loves by Suffering “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep…The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father” (Jn. 10:11,15-18).
Marks of a Shepherd: Loves by Suffering Remember: There is no such thing as parenting or pastoring without suffering! Pain and parenting are inseparable Suffering and shepherding go together “Be sure to know the condition of your flocks” (Prov. 27:23). Dutch Proverb: “It’s the eye of the farmer that makes the cow fat.”
Marks of a Shepherd 7. LEADS THE SHEEP Note: A shepherd does not ‘drive sheep’ – but ‘leads sheep.’ You ‘drive cattle’ – but you can only ‘lead sheep.’ The only time you ‘drive sheep’ is to slaughter! “…He…leads them out…he goes on ahead of them…” (Jn. 10:3-4). “…He leads me beside quiet waters…” (Ps. 23:2). Note: “Bethlehem Story” of shepherds leading sheep.
Marks of a Shepherd: Leads the Sheep Remember: The Good Shepherd has two faithful sheep dogs who follow the sheep – named “Goodness” and “Mercy.” “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6). So while the “Good Shepherd” leads; His faithful sheep dogs, “Goodness” and “Mercy” are following us “…all the days of our life” to make sure that we “…dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
Marks of a Shepherd 8. LABORS FOR THE SHEEP: (How? Two ways: By “feeding” and “fighting” for sheep) Feeds “…comes in…goes out and finds pasture.” “I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel” (Ezek. 34:13- 14).
Marks of a Shepherd: Labors for the Sheep (After His resurrection Jesus met with disciples and Peter by the Sea of Galilee) “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘You know that I love You.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed My lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love Me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of My sheep.’ The third time He said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed My sheep’” (Jn. 21:15-17).
Marks of a Shepherd: Labors for the Sheep Fights David reminded King Saul how he as a shepherd had protected his father’s sheep: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear, this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (I Sam. 17:34-37).
Marks of a Shepherd: Labors for the Sheep “…Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23”4). “…the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11).
Marks of a Shepherd: Labors for the Sheep “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered him, and delivered it out of his mouth…The Lord that delivered me out the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
Marks of a Shepherd 9. LOOKS FOR THE SHEEP Question: “Why does the shepherd have to look for the sheep?” Answer: Sheep wander…go astray…get lost.
Marks of a Shepherd: Looks for the Sheep “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…” (Isa. 53:6). (God said of Israel) “For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest’” (Ps. 95:10-11). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep gone astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (I Pet. 2:24-25). Gospel Song: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
Marks of a Shepherd: Looks for the Sheep (False shepherds) “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost…” (Ezek. 34:4). “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them… I will search for the lost and bring back the strays” (Ezek. 34:11, 16). Nursery Rhyme: “Little Boe Peep lost her sheep…”
Marks of a Shepherd: Looks for the Sheep Jesus’ Parables of lost things: (Lost coin, lost sheep, lost son): “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Lk. 15:4-7). Remember: Only Christianity reveals a “seeking God.”
Marks of a Shepherd 10. LIFTS THE SHEEP “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul” (Ps. 23:3). (Exhortation to sheep): “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I Myself will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats…I will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you shove and flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away. I will save My flock…” (Ex. 34:17-22).
Marks of a Shepherd: Lifts the Sheep Illustration: Restoring sheep who are ‘down and out.’ Note: The “Ministry of Restoration” (David after his sin with Bathsheba and confrontation by prophet Nathan): “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” (Ps. 51:10-12). “Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel…Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us that we may be saved” (Ps. 80:1-3). (God said to Israel): “You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return…” (Jer. 31:18).
Marks of a Shepherd: Lifts the Sheep (Jeremiah ends his Lamentations): “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old” (Lam. 5:21). (Paul’s exhortation): “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently…Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2). Note: Word here for “restore” = katartigo = “perfect, mend, restore.” (Benediction): And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen” (I Pet. 5:10-11).
Marks of a Shepherd 11. LOYAL TO THE SHEEP (Jesus): “The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it…I am the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11-15). (Paul to saints at Corinth): “I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well” (II Cor. 12:15).
Marks of a Shepherd (To saints at Thessalonica): “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the Gospel of God to you” (I Thess. 2:8-9). Remember: A good shepherd has a sense of “ownership” and “stewardship.” As a result, he is ‘loyal unto death’ to his sheep – just like a husband is to his wife…a father is to his children…a pastor is to his people…a shepherd is to his sheep.
Role of Sheep 1. RESPOND: (Listen…obey…follow…love) 2. REPRODUCE: (Produce baby sheep)
Role of Sheep Remember: The reputation of the shepherd is inseparately connected with his sheep! Happy & healthy sheep are a good advertisement for the shepherd A happy wife is good witness for her husband Happy children are good PR for their parents Happy & productive employees are good for the employer Happy, healthy & holy sheep are good PR for the shepherd!
Role of Sheep "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers -- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the CROWN OF GLORY that will never fade away." ( Pet. 5:2-4)