Throughout the Bible, God’s people are called His sheep (John 10, Psalm 23).
You’re a sheep. I’m a sheep. Everywhere a… anyway…
If you’ve hung out with sheep or know much about about them, you know that’s not exactly a compliment. Sheep are stupid, smelly, and self-destructive. They will eat all the grass in one place, then just keep eating the dirt until they’re led somewhere else. They will blindly follow other sheep off of a cliff or right into the line of danger. They can’t defend themselves, and without a shepherd, they’re sitting targets.
Jesus is called The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). Beneath Him (far beneath Him) in the Church structure are His under-shepherds, the local pastors within the Church. Every pastors is tasked with the job of preaching God’s Word in season and out of season (1 Timothy) and shepherding the hearts of those whom God has entrusted them with.
As a pastor, I don’t take my position lightly. Shepherding people is challenging work. However, I try to make sure that I don’t take my position or calling too seriously either. It’s easy to go to either extreme: not care and not take it very seriously or the opposite extreme, go overboard and become overbearing. I try hard to stay somewhere in the middle.
At Awaken, I’m the Senior Pastor. That’s not because I’m better than anyone, it’s just because I got there first! Like the Army, a sports team, or a healthy marriage, someone has to lead. A leadership position isn’t about superiority; it’s about structure.
Although I’m the Senior Pastor, I’m also just one of the pastors. I’m surrounded by a God-given groups of pastors and ministry leaders that together run and build the ministry of Awaken Church.
Here’s the point: when I choose not to make a big deal out of myself, my position, or my leadership, it’s so relieving!
When I rest in the fact that JESUS is the Chief Shepherd (a.k.a. real Senior Pastor) of Awaken Church, it takes the weight of building the church off of my shoulders. Since the church is Jesus’ church…
The bills belong to Him.
The people belong to Him.
The problems belong to Him.
The victory belongs to Him.
It’s all His, and that sure is a relief!
PASTORS: Don’t take yourself too seriously. “Don’t lord [your position/title/leadership] over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” (1 Peter 5:4 NLT)
When things are rough, trust Jesus with His Church. When things are great, give the credit where it’s due: it’s HIS Church!
CHRISTIANS: Follow your pastor as they follow Jesus, but remember: you’re ultimately following Jesus, not your pastor. Pastors will let you down, so keep your eyes on Jesus.