Tuesday, October 07, 2008

From Shepherd to CEO? - Pt. 1

Where have all the shepherds of God's people gone? With the emphasis on growing BIG mega-churches, someone has lost out! And it is not the shepherds! It is God's flock!

I met a man this weekend that had served his church faithfully for many years. He cooked for them every week . In a freak accident he was run over by a truck and had to have both legs amputated. Ninety two days in the hospital and not one visit from the pastor of his church!

He lay there broken, confused, hurting, and questioning. A pastor friend of mine visited him, loved on him, and comforted him. He invited him to his church when he got out and was able. To which the man responded, "What the hell can I do for you!" My friend told him he didn't want anything from him but just to care and comfort him! He is now there at my friend's church and is a leader at that!

92 days - no pastoral visit - why? Because we have lost what a shepherd-pastor does - many have traded their call from God to care for His flock to that of running a ministry (church). CEO instead of pastor! They have relegated their care of the flock to someone else. That is their business but God's people still need genuine men who care for their souls!

Eze 34:1-2
The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? NIV

Dake lists fourteen sins of the shepherds of Israel:
1. They feed themselves without feeding the flocks of Israel (Eze 34:2).
2. They eat the fat and clothe themselves with wool, but do not feed the flock (Eze 34:3).
3. They kill them that are fed.
4. They have not strengthened the diseased (Eze 34:4).
5. They have not healed the sick.
6. They have not bound up the broken.
7. They have not brought again that which was driven away.
8. They have not sought the lost (Eze 34:4,6).
9. They oppressed their subjects (Eze 34:4).
10. They scattered the flock (Eze 34:5).
11. They have not been true shepherds.
12. They caused flock to be destroyed.
13. They have not protected the flock.
14. They ignored the true condition of the flock (Eze 34:6).

Amazing how history repeats itself. My heart is broken for God's people!


Ronni said...

Man this hits home. I remember being diagnosed with cancer and not getting a phone call or even a card. Years later I said something to a pastor I was close to and it stunned him. I think it really opened his eyes. Granted when I ended back up in treatment again, it happened again, and I was very involved...

But that isn't the case with every church or pastor. I'm grateful to know that while my pastor takes care of himself (well, he has been known to do without to make sure someone else has), he spends his time pouring out to peeps. Even if that just means keeping tabs on peeps that aren't even part of his "flock" because they need someone to love on them.

Aren't we all to be like this? Not just our pastors? Why aren't we truly "families" of God anymore? I brought this up last week. It's time we ARE the church. If God put a relationship in your life, follow up with them. Be hands and feet. KNOW them and bless them.

You don't need an ordination certificate to "pastor" someone...

meghenning said...

Daniel and I have always thought that since the time we moved to Tulsa to finish ORU. Mega churches (not all) seem to be run like a business. My co-worker’s church in Arlington actually has a bank in their church; that the church owns. That seemed a little crazy to me. I guess they wanted to make sure people had access to get their tithes. :) Mine and Daniel's question was always can a church get too big for a pastor to shepherd his flock. You don't want to stop the growth of a church but is 16,000 (or more) members too much? What is too much? (5,000-10,000??) How do you know when it is too much? It seems like there might not be any other way to run a "mega" church except to run it like a business. Or the Pastor no longer is the shepherd of his flock; it is delegated to many other people. I fortunately have never had to deal with that situation. But we did see a lot of it in the mega churches in Oklahoma through our friends. Some of them took the 12 approach. The Pastor disciples 12 people then those people disciple 12 and so on from there. That way the Pastor only deals with his 12 and they only deal with their 12 and so on. I am still not quite sold on that idea either. You only deal with your 12 and no one else in the church. I think they make it sound biblical using the 12 process like Jesus having his disciples’ but I am not sure I like that. I like the fact that my daughter got a birthday card from her Pastor last week. She was so excited about it and it made her day. I know it is small but for a child to know someone she sees her mother and father look up to take the time to give her a card; well that makes her feel special. As well as, affirms that her parents have chosen to be around people that also care about her. Anyway….that is just my two cents on all of that! :)

Anonymous said...

On this subject, this is a good book:

Worth a read.

Pastor David said...

>ronni- thanks for the comment and you are right on! We are all able ministers of the New Covenant!

>meagan- great comment- thanks for your take on it- also love you and Jade!

>anon- ordered the book - thanks for the comment.

Barbara Gerami said...

You know that it excists, but when you have the most awesome Pastor, it is hard to believe. You not only visit Hospitals you go to pray for people at their homes. You have done that for Donny several times. The personal delivery of the Birthday card was also awesome. There are so many pastors that need to learn from you, you are an awesome pastor. Thank you and we love you.