“I am the Good Shepherd.”
Jesus is the Shepherd. We do not ever replace him. He kept Peter in reigns when he commissioned him to “tend my sheep” (John 21: ). These sheep are his sheep. They are never “my staff” nor “my team” nor “my flock.” They are his, purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9-10). Our insistence on this point is not being legalistic, but rather its being specific. Being particular with our verbiage is wise, for it protects.
First, it protects the sheep from possessive and heavy-handed leaders and other influencers (like shepherds). Second, it protects the leader from the unhealthy tendencies that seep from the open wound of possessiveness. Further, we are reminded who we primarily serve. We do not take over Jesus’ work, we continue it in utter dependence on him. Jesus’ work was to love his Father by doing whatever his Father told him (John 5:19-20, 30; 14:31). We are to continue this work. This has profound implications in the everyday practice of our work. For we are not to respond to needs around us, we are to love G0d and do whatever he tells us (John 14-16). How do you experience the Father’s personal love for you – no, I mean really experience it? How does that reality direct your daily decisions? This is not mere spiritualistic chatter. This is the ultimate reality. We will wrestle with a Trinitarian model of this shepherding work often.
This blog will seek to present practical tools, solid thinking, wise self-care and development practices all based on an applied theology of shepherding that is Trinitarian, Christo-centric, Word-based and contextualized for the unique work of the international shepherding of cross-cultural workers. That’s a mouth full. Tune in regularly.