Shepherding the Flock

Hebrews 13: 17

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

It is hard to be a pastor. Even harder to be blessed with divine sight. I want to help people and sometimes I can see so clearly exactly where they are. I know I could help them. Sometimes I even offer, but I can’t invade. They must ask for my help. I can even give people a prophetic word but if they don’t move on it or ask for more, the moment and the opportunity may pass. I feel the resolution so close but for that person, it may be to them as looking through fog. If they only knew how close they were to their breakthrough. Just take my hand. Let me help you!

I have been asking the Lord a lot about ministry over the last year. What is our role? What good are any of us actually doing? I watched the church as a whole fail miserably when the Covid Pandemic struck. We lost our Billy Graham and there was no voice to fill the void. What is it that any of us can do? What should we be doing for our congregations?  What do people need and/or want?

There are many more questions, as the issue is quite complicated. You are part of the situation too. You aren’t sure where to turn or whether or not a pastor can actually help you. The role of the minister has gotten lost. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just a difficult time. Even before the pandemic, parishioners were changing, and the church was struggling to change to meet those changing needs.

Here is the good news. All bets are off. We are free to rewrite the book on ministry. God has given us lots of guidance in His book and He is showing us new ways we can help the people for which He will hold us accountable.  We can remake the church, saving parts and adding new things too.

I believe the ministry to which God has called me is being remade to meet new challenges. A great deal of what any minister does, though, depends on you. We, as ministers, must give you invitation to take advantage of the anointing which is upon us. That will only happen if you believe God has anointed us with ministry gifts. Second, if we make it taboo for people to ask their ministers for help then it will become a sign of weakness instead of a sign of wisdom for people to ask their ministers for their leadership. Here is the thing, I know there is a place and time for us to stand in the pulpit but there is also a time when we need to minister in small groups and individually. You need to call us. You need to pull on us so that we hear the need. And, you need to let us help you. We do have skills and gifts we would give to you. Though, truth be told, we are learning new ways every day with which to meet the needs of God’s people.

The challenges are very real because the landscape is changing. We do not always know how to offer the help you need nor do you know where the new boundaries lie. Neither do we but it is a brave new world with new potential. Let your ministers help you, nay, demand that we do. We will find our way in this new world, together. You will lead us by your requests, and we will lead with the gifts of God’s Spirit. Life, the church and the needs of the congregation have changed forever. Together, we will rebuild in ways that we couldn’t have foreseen years ago. We will rebuild stronger than ever and with more of the life and light of Christ than before. We needn’t mourn what we’ve lost but rather look ahead to the new thing God has in store for us. He hasn’t lost His way.

The anointing, which is upon pastors and ministers, has been given, by God, to bless His people. Do not let those gifts die on the vine. Call on the ministers of God to minister His grace and wisdom. Call upon us to fulfill our calling.