During this past Christmas season, our brother Scott DeGroff issued a challenge on Facebook called “Everybody love a Shepherd of God’s People Week”. It was very encouraging to see the Lord work through his efforts and nice to see Scott continuing in ministry as he continues to struggle with health issues which prevent him from preaching at this time. Scott kindly offered it to assemblyHUB to use so we are posting his challenge in 5 parts, each day this week.
I know many shepherds around North America that are hurting, watching sheep the Lord has entrusted to them struggle, fall, suffer horrible consequences – these shepherds bear many burdens they often can’t talk to people about, so I have three thoughts to put out for your consideration.
1. Love and encourage
Let’s pray today about how we can love and encourage a shepherd this week. A”shepherd” is any man or woman that looks after God’s people selflessly. Let’s obey immediately what the Lord gives us to do (maybe as simple as a hug or a thank you, maybe buy them a hot tub, send them to a conference, etc…). Don’t limit how the Lord can love His shepherds through you!! Let’s just ask and obey!!
2. Give and be generous
Let’s pray about including the local shepherds in our giving, and ideally we should be praying about how to be GENEROUS and encouraging to them! I know of a local church last year that circulated a quick letter introducing the idea of giving a shepherd gift to the elders.
The free-will giving that came (separate from church giving) in response was so generous that they were able to give a generous get-away weekend gift to each of the three local shepherds and their spouses, as a thank you and a way to encourage and build into their marriages. That’s just ONE way that ONE group obeyed the following biblical instructions.
3. Honor and obey
Hebrews 13 says to “remember” shepherds, to “follow” them, to “obey” them, and Timothy says to “honor” them. How might the Lord want us to live out these biblical instructions???
The norm in our culture (and sadly too often in the church) is to criticize authority, resist authority, challenge authority, etc. This is not the example of Christ!!! Those of us who seek, by grace, to take following our Lord seriously, should be so different than that!!
We should honor God’s shepherds and support them and love them and encourage them on. This is the way of Christ! Lord help each of us to obey Him how He directs us.
assemblyHUB would like to encourage everyone to continue this challenge and consider ways to encourage your shepherds. We would love to get your stories of ways that you have blessed or been blessed and we will share them as anonymous testimonials. You can submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be posting testimonials that Scott received as a result of the challenge. May these be an encouragement to you – to your heart and also to spur you on to good works.