Shepherding of souls is a noble work.
Shepherding is Hard Work
Shepherding is a hard work, fraught with unforeseen realties. We love people and they walk away from God and us. Sheep do wander at times. We all do.We listen to people and they feel misunderstood. Human communications are easy to cross. We go and we give and we wonder if any one really notices. Your Father in heaven always sees what is done in secret. God, too, experiences these dynamics with his people.
Sheep in Tuscany Italy ©Scott E. Shaum
Persevere in Doing Your Shepherd Work
Shepherding is a life-long work. In my organization we encourage a “flock” mentality. In other words, find a group of people you can love and journey with for years to come. Continually visit them, call them, check in on them, resource them, nurture and encourage them. And above all pray for them. This is a shepherd’s work. This is a persevering work. It might feel that after the novelty wears off we are weary of these people’s needs and they don’t seem appreciative of us or our efforts. However, the shepherd’s opportunity is to pursue these people over a long period of time. Transformation takes place over long periods of time in the context of lasting relationship.
Remember, The Father Sees You
So be encouraged in your shepherding work. There is no greater work we can do than invest in the lives of others. Shepherding work is copying of how God cares for us. If you feel dry or alone or unseen in your work, seek some personal time of renewal. Linger for some extended time in your Father’s presence. Enjoy him tending to you. Gaze back at him as he gazes steadily upon you. We are all sheep first, children of the Father first. Shepherding flows out of this core identity and reality.
Be encouraged. Your shepherding work is of highest value.
How has God affirmed you in your care of others? I’d love to hear of that affirmation.