Monday, November 9, 2009

Shepherding Well

It's been nearly 2 months since I last blogged and a lot has been going on, but the most notable to date has been the explosion of people wanting to plug in at The Village. A couple of months ago, I had 27 women sign up to be in my small group...that's in addition to the 10 women I already had. Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed. It's running closer to 20-25 now, but I had no idea how I was going to tackle leading a group that size.

As of now, it's still a trial and error situation, but it has gotten easier as the weeks go by. Last week, Matt said something in regards to shepherding and it really hit me. "When you are shepherding a flock, the role of the shepherd is not to be in the middle with the happy sheep, but on the outskirts with the sheep in danger".

I have to be honest, it stung a little. I haven't been doing a very good job of corralling the sheep in danger, i.e. those struggling the most. And even more than that, I like to stay in the middle with the happy sheep, the ones that aren't in need of repentence, at least at the moment. Jesus addresses this in a parable in Luke 15 charging us to go after that one sheep that is inching farther away and closer to the false prophets dressed in sheep's clothing that He mentions in Matthew 7:15.

It's changed the way I look at my group and at the world as a whole. I get so caught up in the sweetness of my bubble that I don't go after the lost sheep. It's hard to admit that staying in the flock is fun. It's easy. It's comfortable.

I'm a happy sheep...wait, ewe? Whatever, I'm happy, but there are others who are not, who need to be reconciled to Him. And, it's my job...nay, my responsibility as a believer. When was the last time you left the flock to chase down a sheep going astray? When was the last time you ached for the soul of another? It will refine the mess out of you and I speak from experience.

Shepherding is difficult, but it is something we have all been called to on some lay down ourselves for the sake of another.



April and Jonathan Wade said...

Good post :) I struggled with this a lot when I was leading a small (gigantic) group. It's good to encourage those good sheep in your group to help you go after those that may be straying. After all, you are way out numbered! I found that by encouraging the stronger ones to pursue the lost ones helped build greater community (and takes some of the stress of you). You are doing great, April! I'm proud of you for stepping up and leading when our church is in such great need!