One of the many metaphors of the Bible pertaining to the Church, and specifically the pastor of the church, is that of the Shepherd. The Greek word for Shepherd, poimen, is used several times in reference to Christ (i.e. Hebrews 13:20; 1Peter 2:25) but in Ephesians 4:11 the word obviously refers to the pastors of churches. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors (shepherds) and teachers; (Ephesians 4:11).”
The job of the shepherd of sheep, is to protect his flock, guide them to green pasture, feed them and provide life giving water, to love them and be willing to sacrifice life and limb for their well being. When it comes to the other side of the analogy, the shepherding of men, we have to look no further than Christ for the perfect example. He was the “Good Shepherd,” who literally gave Himself for His sheep.
Would to God that the burden of protecting, feeding, watering, nurturing and loving were taken more seriously by every God appointed shepherd (pastor) of our day. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28).” “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (1Peter 5:2).”
It is a sobering fact that God holds us who are called Pastor accountable for the quality care and guidance that we provide for HIS sheep. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17).”
Lord, help me to be this kind of pastor! Lord, bless my sheep!