Shepherding: Preparing for Living

Shepherding people requires time, energy, and money.  It can seem like a drain. Yet the benefits to the faithful shepherd outweigh the cost.  Darrin Patrick lays out some of the pluses in his book Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission. The first item he lists is: Shepherding Prepare the Pastor for Living.

When you deal with the sin of others, you become more aware of your own sin. When you shepherd the stubborn, you see your own stubbornness.  When you shepherd the selfish, you see your own selfishness. When you shepherd the broken, you inevitably see your own brokenness.  Positively, when you see others obey, you want to obey. when you see others use their gifts effectively, you want to use your gifts effectively.  This should come as no surprise to us, since it is the Holy Spirit who reveals sin, empowers obedience, and imparts gifts. Both the Greek and Hebrew words for spirit mean “air” or “breath.”  The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, which also means “air” or “breath.” This is where we get words like respiratory (breathing) and expire (no more breathing). It is also where we get the word inspire. It’s as if when the Spirit is at work in those whom we counsel, we pastors are, by the same Spirit, inspired to repent, believe, and obey with the best gifts we have (pp 82-83).

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