In the next few weeks during our church services and during Home Community time we will be learning how to shepherd each other.
What the heck does this mean and why do we need shepherding? Throughout Scripture the metaphor of a Shepherd is used of God and leadership guiding the church.
[Ezekiel 34:4]“Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.  They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.  My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.” (This passage is a warning against false shepherds in Israel and an admonishment for them to shepherd rightly or the people would be scattered).
[Matthew 9:35] “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.  Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…” (This passage is a call to all those who have a desire to get involved in ministry).
If you have a desire to get involved in ministry, then we need your help. We are developing a system to try to mentor leaders who can help in the shepherding process.
Concerning God’s structure of leadership in the Church Jesus is seen in Scripture as the Chief Shepherd of the Church with the elders of each local church being commission to do pastoral / shepherding work as under-shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4). An under-shepherd’s job is to be the representative of the Chief Shepherd imitating His ways. Thus, this is the reason we have elders overseeing Home Community groups so that they can look after a more manageable amount of people and really try to attend to their needs. This is the reason we have co-leaders, to learn from the elder in each group and help shepherd, oversee, and pastor those in their care.
But this is not where shepherding ends. Each Christian is called to be a priest, to shepherd one another in community. This idea is found in 1 Peter starting in 1:22-2:10. Next week we will focus on the “Priesthood of the Believer” – this week we will look at the basics of what we are to do and not do in shepherding one another:
- We (Christians) are to love each other deeply (1 Peter 1:22-25). This means having brotherly / sisterly affection for one another (v. 22 – Philadelphia) and that we are to sacrifice and serve one another (v. 23 – Agape).
- We (Christians) are to put off (strip off and get rid of) community dividing behavior, words, and attitudes (1 Peter 2:1).
- We (Christians) are to pursue, crave, long for, desire the pure word of God (1 Peter 2:2-3).
At the Father / Son retreat last weekend we learned about dealing without our emotional injuries. Men struggle in this area and therefore pass on to our children emotional injuries because men have not dealt with their junk. We learned we need to own our stuff, find a spiritual friend, process through it rightly, and take baby-steps forward. Roger Petersohn has a blog about how to do this – http://rogerpetersohn.wordpress.com/page/2/
We each can and should be shepherding one another. We do this by living out of love for everyone in the church. We do this by pointing each other to scripture. We do this by not partaking in community dividing attitudes and behavior. We do this by praying for one another. We do this by encouraging one another. We do this by serving one another. We do this by pursuing the word of God.
Your shepherds (elders / pastors / directors) here at Grace Church Seattle love you and are here for you if you need to process through anything.