KEEPING MY FATHER’S FLOCK
1Samuel 17:34, Psalm 23:1-6, Ezekeil 34:1, 1Timothy 3, 2Timothy 2: 14
Elder Dr. Lamela L. Silas
In the Church, like in all organizations, leadership is prime. Church hierarchy reveals our Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the Church with the Pastor’s. Bishop’s, Apostle’s, Teachers and Evangelist as the five-fold ministry of the Church. In our setting, however, Senior Pastor is the under-shepherd along with the Associate Pastor. This is followed by elected Elders as well as Leaders of Agencies and Sub-groups in the Church represented here. In essence, there is a leader, and there are leaders.
Leaders in the church are appointed by God, elected by men and made overseers or guardians by the Holy Spirit.
Leadership in Church is a collective responsibility. Authorities on the subject of leadership defines Primal leadership as first of all, how to drive the emotions of the people toward achieving the goal. Resonant leadership, experts say it involves finding answers to questions like this, is the leader inspirational? Does he or she create and sustain resonance at the top? Is he in touch with others? Does the leader know what is in others’ hearts and minds? Does the leader demonstrate compassion? Is the leader mindful-authentic and in tune with self, others and the environment?
Leadership in ministry is simply keeping the Father’s Flock. It means doing all it needs to be done to make the sheep comfortable.
Ministry is a call to service. It is a commitment by the owner of the flock to under-shepherd based on trust that none should be lost. John 17:12 (except of course the son of perdition). Call to service or servanthood is indeed a trust. To the shepherd, the sheep is priceless, (even bought with a price, his precious blood shed on the cross); they are precious and therefore should be jealously guided and guarded, protected and watched over from all harm.
Ministry is ministering or rendering service to the spiritual, physical and emotional need or needs of people. Ministry is total and comprehensive.
The principle of Compassion for all and is equal and the same as compassion for one anchored on (operation 99/1 principles) Matthew 18:12-13.
Jesus moved with compassion.
Jesus had compassion on them (Matthew 20:34, Mark 5:19, Luke 10:33).
The Samaritan had compassion for him.
The Prodigal son’s father had compassion for him (Luke 15:20).
No one can do ministry or provide leadership for ministry without a heart of compassion. No compassion, no ministry.
He came to save that which was lost and cannot afford to lose what is saved.
Leadership, therefore, entails the following:
1. Provision for the flock: Feeding the Father’s flock. The flock should not lack anything spiritual, physical, financial and emotional etc.
2. Protection of the flock: Keeping watch over the Father’s flock sometimes is at the risk of our lives. Meanwhile, it ought to be exemplary as elaborately discussed in 2 Timothy 3:10-11.
3. Rescuing/Delivering the flock: Going after the enemy to rescue the flock. Attacking or striking down the enemy or slaying the enemy consisting of the following: Lion, Bear, Wolf in sheep clothing. They will sort out and flush out.
4. Watch yourself as you engage in this all-encompassing ministry. Acts 20:17.
Characteristics of the flock
1. The flock is tender, innocent, fragile and required to be handled with prayer.
2. They are exposed to danger and risk from the enemy or enemies (Bear, Lion).
3. Clueless, directionless, helpless and hopeless.
4. Stressed up and scattered.
5. Vulnerable and endangered species. Very gullible and can eat or drink anything to their peril.
6. Others are stubborn and difficult and will always stray no matter what.
Role of a good shepherd
What is our mandate responsibility toward the flock? Psalm 23:1-6, John 10:1-7
1. He leads them beside the still waters. Quietness and comfort for the flock.
2. Refreshing experience.
3. Gives new life to the flock.
4. Restore failing health.
5. No fear for the flock.
6. No harm to the flock.
7. Protection and guidance.
8. Blessing overflow.
· He leads them out or opens the gate for them to feed well.
· He goes ahead of them to guide them to the right place.
· Risk his life in the course of protecting the flock.
· He knows and calls them by name i.e. very familiar with them and their needs.
· The sheep knows the voice of the shepherd. They can predict what the shepherd can do at any point in time.
· He stays with the sheep, makes out time to visit and pray with them.
· He delivers the sheep from captivity sometimes at the risk of his life.
How to handle difficult sheep
1. Leave the 99 and go after it until it is found and brought home.
2. They don’t listen; what do I do? Keep praying for them.
3. Never Give Up (NGU).
Please note: NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, THERE ARE SOME THAT WILL UNDERMINE YOUR MINISTRY.
Their ministry in your ministry is to challenge you and sometimes frustrate you. Some will talk against you while some will betray you and some will deny you.
How to serve: Acts 20:17
1. With humility and holiness.
2. With tears and sacrifice, time, energy and resources, fasting, prayer and follow-up.
3. Noting the temptations therein.
4. Withhold nothing that is good for the flock.
5. Pour yourself totally and innocently of the blood of the flock. Do not withhold anything that will benefit the flock.
6. Be watchful over yourself so that you do not hurt yourself and the flock.
Now that I am an Elder/Leader 3John 1
There are basically two types of elders/leaders on the board or in the church: Elder Diotrephes and Elder Demetrius.
1. Elder Diotrephes: Baba Dattijo
With perfect institutional memories and archival. Very ambitious person who resists the authority of leaders in the church. He attacks them publicly and is physically violent.
· Loves to be first, push himself forward always and is the first to talk.
· Will have nothing to do with the leadership of the church and does not acknowledge any authority over him.
· Gossips maliciously about leaders both local and national, accusing others and as if this was not enough, refuses to welcome brothers and stops those who want to do so.
· He threatens to expel or put those who welcome brethren out of the church. Very domineering.
· Conclusion about them is, do not imitate them for they are bad examples of leaders. Even though they are, elders but they do not know God.
2. Elder Demetrius
· Well-spoken by everyone.
· Even the truth itself approves of him as a model of leadership.
· We also speak well of him with warm commendations.
· We can testify about him that he has touched lives and has served well.
God’s indictment of the shepherd
God is so enraged with the shepherds’ attitude, conduct and behaviour that He had to express Himself through Ezekiel the prophet to express His anger. His indictment is as follows:
1. They take care of themselves rather than the flocks.
2. They extract fresh milk from the flock and eat; exploitation.
3. They clothe themselves with the wool from the flock; comfort at the peril of the flock.
4. They slaughter the choice animals; selective treatment of flocks going for the rich and mighty.
5. They do not strengthen the weak; neglect.
6. Or heal the sick.
7. Or bound the injured; the grieving.
8. They do not search for the lost.
9. They rule them harshly and brutally.
Implications to the flock
1. They can scatter.
2. They become food for wild animals.
3. They migrate from pillar to pool in search of a place.
God will take over the job by going after them to search for them, rescue them himself from the mouth of lions, and bear Himself. He will separate the ship from the goats. He will feed them, dress their wounds, and comfort them.
Reward of Faithfulness
Saul had a call for the throne when he went searching for the donkey. There is joy in the family and in heaven when a soul is restored into the kingdom. Our labour shall be rewarded and failure will not go unpunished.
It Pays To Serve Jesus
This discussion is to refresh us and draw lessons from Biblical examples of our call into leadership and our mandate as leaders. God’s expectations of us.
May God help us to rise to the occasion. Amen.