KEY THOT: Jesus is the good Shepherd of His Flock (God’s people) because he shepherds the sheep in the strength and in the name of the Lord. And because of how he shepherds, the flock will dwell in security and enjoy peace. Jesus is the model shepherd for all under-shepherds of God’s flocks, be they pastors, elders, spiritual mentors or CG leaders. Everybody who has the responsibility to care for God’s sheep is an under-shepherd of the flock, of whom Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd.
And just as Jesus shepherds the flock in God’s strength, we too must do the same. Those who constantly speaks of “burn-out” in leadership is really not doing it in God’s strength but in their own strength—that’s why it burns out. When shepherds of God’s flock shepherd in the power of the Spirit, they will not burn out but burn up, for the Spirit is the Fire of God burning within us.
Secondly, just as Jesus shepherds the flock in the "majesty of the name of the Lord his God", so we under-shepherds should do likewise: we don’t shepherd in our own name to promote our own agenda. We shepherd God’s flock in Christ’s name in order to promote Christ’s agenda to bring his flock under the Father’s rule of security and peace. To shepherd in God’s name rather than our own name is to do everything to exalt and honour God’s name, particularly the name of Christ. We don’t shepherd our flock just for their private well-being but in order that through them, Christ's name be praised and honoured by the world. We will apply the staff to guide and restore but we may also need to apply the rod to goad and discipline—“for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
God has given us His Son as the Shepherd of His Flock comprising not just our local congregations but the entire Body of Christ. Therefore, we must take our direction as under-shepherds from the Chief Shepherd. We cannot and should not run our flock like our private fiefdoms. Instead, our goal as under-shepherds is to align our little flocks with the Chief Shepherd’s vision for the flock—that they may live in the security and peace of the Lord.
It’s a privilege to shepherd God’s flock. The day that I feel it’s a burden, I should take a break, and do some soul-searching by asking two questions: (1) Am I doing it in God’s strength? (2) Am I doing it to exalt God’s name? If I want to be an effective shepherd, my answer to both questions must always be yes.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Chief Shepherd. As Your under-shepherds, may You refresh our vision to do everything in Your strength and in Your name, that we may be able to lead our flock to the place of peace and security in You. Amen.