This was a question posed to me by a friend after watching a telecast of a pastor who spoke a lot of what can be regarded as blasphemy, self praise and aggrandizement et al!
We both could not believe all that we had just heard which was done with brazen effrontery in the Lord’s name and on Television, which reaches the homes and lives of so many across the globe, believers and non-believers alike.
The Bible is clear on the role of the church leader and shepherd:
Feeding, Shearing, grooming the sheep and always ready and willing, on the look-out for wandering sheep.
But there is also a severe warning for us;
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Corinthians 11
12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Jesus said to Peter repeatedly, “feed my lambs." Why the emphasis on feeding and food?
Why the analogy of Lambs and sjheep? Lambs as we well know are ‘baby sheep’ that need milk.
These in the church need the basics of the Gospel and simple biblical precepts to grow healthy and be grounded.
In addition the church leader or shepherd is to "take care of the sheep". This simply means to tirelessly, tender and lovingly groom these to maturity.
Finally..."feed my sheep". ‘ MY’ there is a sense of belonging; the sheep of the Lord, not our sheep. We are only caretakers of these and must obey the Master in working obediently.
We must be mature personally to groom the Lamb from the level of lamb to sheep with the right food and portions…lambs milk and the sheep solid food.
Someone once said “what you do not have , you cannot give” how can a church leader who lacks the power and wisdom of God’s word impart the knowledge of same?
How can the prayer-less or non-spirit filled leader/shepherd transfer God’s goodness and righteousness?
In fact, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word yet you teach Bible study…what message can you pass to your congregation?
You need milk, you have not yet graduated to solid food, it might choke you!
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Solid food is training in righteousness so that the sheep can be fully equipped, able to stand in the day of testing.
2 Tim. 3
16-17 All Scripture is God inspired and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
1 Timothy 6
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Heb. 5:12-14 & 6:1-3
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
1 Peter 2:25
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
The conclusion of the matter is that those who are TRULY called to serve, take the ‘job’ seriously because there will be accountability at the end of the day.
Only God qualifies people for positions in service in any role in His temple for His good purpose of increasing the Kingdom and turning souls away from eternal death
God’s criteria for service and leadership in His sanctuary never changes, maybe the multitude (who directly and indirectly work as the devil’s tool), who are in ‘it’ for personal gains will have a rethink as they are DRIVING multitudes away from the church and discouraging many from coming close to Christ Jesus
Zeal is not effective service but wisdom, divine selection and guidance is.
Arise and sing David’s song in Psalm 51 for a new and right spirit to serve; feeding the Lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold.