KEY THOT: The good shepherd is characterized by intimate knowledge of his sheep (“I know my own”), self-disclosure (“my own know me”) and self-sacrificing ministry (“I lay down my life for the sheep”). The good shepherd is focused on the welfare of the sheep, not on some sheep-rearing “programs” or “systems”. The heart of “good-shepherd” ministry is the spiritual, mental/emotional and physical welfare of the sheep: it is personal and it is self-sacrificing.
I must be careful not to confuse ministry with programs but forget the people that join the programs. Programs are for people, not people for the programs. When a particular structure or strategy no longer further the welfare of God’s people but start to have a life of its own, then it’s time to review the program. Programs serve people, not people serve programs just as Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Once a particular structure and strategies no longer serve the kingdom purpose, we must throw them out: new wine needs new wineskin.
I must constantly review what and how I am doing ministry. If I’m doing it a certain way because it’s always been done that way, even when people are falling through the cracks then I have to re-think my structure and strategy. Anything that I do must promote the welfare of the people and the growth of God’s kingdom.
Father, thank You for what You have done through Alpha. It’s a great joy to be Your partner, for in Your presence is fullness of joy! Amen.