Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday's Ministry Musings: Shepherding for Sacrificial Purposes

I recently purchased a gem of a little book by William Still entitled The Work of the Pastor. You can buy it at Monergism for under 5 bucks. In the very beginning Still discusses the work of the pastor as shepherd:

"The pastor by definition is a shepherd, the under-shepherd of the flock of God. His primary task is to feed the flock by leading them to green pastures. He also has to care for them when they are sick or hurt, and seek them when they go astray. The importance of the pastor depends on the value of the sheep.

Pursue the pastoral metaphor a little further: Israel's sheep were reared, fed, tended, retrieved, healed and restored--for sacrifice on the altar of God. This end of all pastoral work must never be forgotten--the ultimate aim is to lead God's people to offer themselves up to Him in total devotion of worship and sacrifice.

Pastor, what is your goal? Is it that the sheep God has entrusted you with might be offered to God in sacrifice or is it so that they can fulfill your dream of being a "thriving" and "succesful" church? Is your goal to make your sheep fat, happy, and prosperous so that they can enjoy living together as sheep? Or, is your goal to make your sheep healthy, pure, and faithful so that they offer themselves as a sacrifice to the King? It's worth considering our motivation concerning the sheep we tend to.

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