If you are a shepherd then you should be showing an interest in the sheep that you are called to shepherd. Any elder of a church then must be interested in the sheep; that is the congregation he is to shepherd. Any shepherd who does not have an interest in the sheep should leave his employment as soon as possible. The issue I am concerned about here specifically in this post is that of how we show an interest in people.
So here are some thoughts:-
- We need to know the sheep. If we do not know the people in our charge then we are likely to show our interest in them in an inappropriate way.
- We also need to know what our sheep are going through at a specific moment in time. What might be thoughtful and appropriate at one point in time may be insensitive and harmful at another time.
- Some sheep want to go about their business quietly and resent intrusive behaviour from the shepherd. They very easily see any delving into their lives as pestering.
- Other sheep consider any sense of a lack of attention being paid to them in a negative light. They soon are accusing the shepherd of ignoring them and being disinterested.
- All the sheep need to know that they are cared for. All the sheep need to know that they are loved.
- The true shepherd is a relentless indomitable studier of sheep.
- The true shepherd is a man who is fervent in prayer. It is through prayer that we can ask of God for the necessary wisdom to involve ourselves in the lives of the sheep.