Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We Are HIS Sheep

The following quote from Paul Borden's book "Hit the Bulleye" does just that with an important corrective on the respective role of sheep and Shepherd:

"Our understanding of what shepherds are to be and do, in our congregations, is far more romantic than who shepherds were and what they did in biblical times. Shepherds were entrepreneurs who raised sheep for their livelihood, for food and clothing. Good shepherds led their sheep into green pastures and by still waters in order to obtain three results. They sheared the sheep (not fleeced the flock), ate the sheep, or mated them for reproduction. Sheep were led into zones of comfort in order to be prepared for zones of discomfort. In other words, sheep were expected to produce a profit for the shepherd. The shepherd took care of the sheep, not for the sheep's benefit but for the shepherd's needs. In congregational life our declining institutions think that shepherds take care of the sheep for the sheep's benefit, rather than to benefit the Chief Shepherd by accomplishing God's mission. The paradox of Christianity is that sheep are most fulfilled when they are risking life for the Chief Shepherd rather than being pampered by appointed shepherds."

HT: Annette over at Random Thoughts

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