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The Pastor Must Feed the Sheep

The Pastor Must Feed the Sheep

Where have all the sheep gone? The wandered off and decided to stay in different pastures. Why? The food that their shepherd dispensed was too little or tasted terrible.

Some where, there may be some man with the title of "pastor," who is wondering where all the flock went. The church used to be packed, but now the sanctuary is an embarrassment. A few people sit here and there. During the sermon a lot of extraneous activity goes on, which shows that the people in the pew are bored. One cannot see Johnny's head because he is bent over very low, very interested in something on the floor. Could it be an ant, a knot of the floor, or a video game? From time to time someone gets up out of his seat and parades out the back or out a front door seeking relief. Many people need to go to the restroom during the sermon, having obtained sudden attacks of weak bladder. Teens pass note and whisper. A couple is playing handsies. A preteen puts his mother's head in a headlock and twists her over giving her a hug akin to Smack Down until she shoves him away.

But the preacher drones on. And on. And on. Someone looks at his watch and frets, "Will he ever sign off?" He thinks he shall be heard for his much speaking. He chose a topic like "hope" for his message. He exhorts till his face is red, "You must have hope! "Stop being non-hopeful. Be sure to hope at least 4 times ever day!"

But one thing is for sure. There are church members who suffer through some sermons week by week, hardly learing anything they did not know before. They do not come to learn that certain passages exist and that certain teachings exist in the Bible, aside from platitudes. The members don't learn an interpretation of a verse or a new application of some verse to their lives. In short, instead of receiving teaching; they may just receive exhortation.

As a matter of fact there are spiritual gifts called evangelism and exhortation. Indeed the people of God need exhortation. Often they know things very well, but don't do them. Nonetheless, a pastor must be a teacher, a feeder of the sheep. And "apt to teach" is a qualification for elder. See Philip 4; 1 Timothy; Titus on the qualifications for and spiritual gift related to being an elder.

Suggested remedy for a dwindling flock: Feed the sheep. Feed them well-prepared meals that are the fruit of having studied to show oneself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed. After thoroughly preparing meals, call the sheep, get their attention. An introduction to a sermon can be a riveting attention-getter.

Serve a delicious meal. Read scripture, explain scripture, illustrate scripture. Let the flock know what God hath said. Divine content is delicious and nutritious. Illustrations help it taste good. Will you be so lazy as to step up to the pulpit without illustrations? Christ used parables.

Let the flock know how the passage applies to their lives. A good teacher teaches not only content, but people. Let the flock get a new insight for living. Illustrate it!

Evangelism and exhortation are good. But a pastor must teach.