Feed my sheep 2
SMELLING LIKE SHEEP.
We continue with the second part of our four part series, Feed my Sheep, as Evangelist John Cawray shares some helpful hints for leaders looking to nurture spiritual relationships with their flocks.
On a documentary I watched recently, there was a man in a South African zoo that became friends with very wild animals like lions, hyenas, tigers etc…
This was an extraordinary scene for me. One thing he did consistently was to play with the wild animals: rub their bodies, let them lie on him, put his hand in their mouths and his body on their bodies, he feeds them, take then to drink water etc
This man simply became like a wild animal to win their confidence, his activities with them will make him smell like the animals
1 Cor 9:19-23
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings. (NIV)
Paul knowing though that he was a free man he became a prisoner by choice with the aim to help some find Christ. He became a Jew to win the Jews, to those under the Torah he became like one of them though he is under the Law of Jesus. He came down to the level of the weak to help those who are weak. He became everything to everyone to win some for Christ.
Apparently, the different people Paul reached out to have different needs, different levels of faith, different convictions, different needs, etc…Yet one thing they all have in common; they all need to be saved and remain saved. They need Jesus.
Paul did not tilt to one set of people that he feels comfortable with but opened up to all.
There is a serious need for shepherds to know their sheep and learn to relate to all according to their needs to win them over for Christ. Because of the too much time a shepherd spends with the sheep, the tender touch, the playing with the sheep makes the shepherd smell like the sheep. What are the different kinds of people we have in our church? Those financially stable, the financially unstable, the jobless, the critical, those struggling to be disciples, the emotionally unstable, the proud, the friendly, the servants, the prayerful, the teachable etc…
A shepherd cannot go with the easy to deal with only, others need Jesus too. The others may need more in fact. Know the homes of people, keep the communication lines open, listen to them, work with them, pray with them, teach them, love them, comfort them, protect them, be patient with them, correct them, rebuke them, be honest with them, be objective, be neutral, be fun full, be creative etc…
There were times Jesus was with the needy, the sick, and the marginalized. In other times he was with the rich, at weddings, at dinner tables, in parties etc…
He went to homes of morning, he wept with those bereaved, he was often in people’s homes, he related with children etc…
At the end he converted Zacchaeus (a rich man) some of the sick he healed, the Nicodemus (a ruler) etc…
A leader must be flexible
A leader must be approachable
People you lead must find a friend in you
Q. Do you entertain Jokes from people you lead?
Q. Do you over look insult and mistakes of people?
Q. DO they know you too make mistakes and admit them?
Q. Do they feel safe with you?
Q. Are they afraid of you?
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (NIV)
Justice was what the teachers of the law and Pharisees demanded. In the eyes of the teachers of the Law Jesus was defending evil. In the eyes of God Jesus smelled like sheep as he was determine to give her a chance to repent.
Most of the people we lead seem hard to lead because we misunderstand them.
When people steal, lie, are sexually immoral, are prideful, are greedy, are critical, are angry etc the rod of Justice can only kill their faith when applied before understanding the root of the problem.
The right line of action to take is to ask the question “how can I help this person come to godly sorrow?” Don’t take the weaknesses of people personally; we are in their lives to help them and not to be the first to throw stones at them.