Try It This Week (A Disciple-Making Tool)

Brian Clark


The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The New Testament image or metaphor for church leaders is that of shepherds. (Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:2) Of course, the Bible is full of shepherding imagery. However, when referring to church leadership specifically, shepherds are given both stern warnings and reprimands when they fall short of God's expectations.

Zechariah is no different. In his tenth chapter, Zechariah says in verse two that God's people are left to the deceit, lies, and false comfort of idols because they lack a shepherd. He goes on to say, "My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders (vs. 3)." As in Ezekiel 34, God takes up where the leaders fall short and proclaims that God will "care for his flock".

All of us who shepherd the church fall short of God's expectations. This isn't meant to be an indictment, but rather, a statement of reality. So how do we respond to the realization of our own failures and shortcomings? Repentance, for sure, but I would also offer you the following thought. There is only One who can truly shepherd a soul, and in the realization of all of the ways we fall short, simply remember that your one true task is to lead people to the One who called Himself the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). In other words, you won't be perfect as a shepherd, but you can skillfully and lovingly lead people to the One who is perfect and who perfectly loves them.

This week, I encourage you to take some time to do two things: 1) Read Psalm 23 again (as if you've never read it before). Remember that the Lord is YOUR shepherd, too. 2) Ask the Good Shepherd to show you moment by moment and day by day how to lead your flock to Him.

Always praying for you and your church,

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