As pastors and ministry leaders, we’re prone to give too much of ourselves, to do too much and try too hard. Its the same for parents and others who care for people in Jesus’ name. We’re called to be shepherds to the sheep God has entrusted to us. But what does this mean? How do we provide what our sheep need?
Often I’m afraid that what we do is we lie down and say, “Here sheep, come nibble off of me.” This is why we’re exhausted. This is why we burn out. Our ministry is eating us alive!
No! We’re to lead the sheep to the Good Shepherd.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
Jesus is the One the people we care for are to feed off of. But we can’t help people to find their joy and strength in Christ unless we’re doing that ourselves, even as we’re helping someone. We have to be experiencing intimacy with Jesus and to be relying on his love and power as we do what we’re doing or we can’t minister effectively to the souls of others.
Our own abiding in Christ is the most important thing we do to prepare for teaching a class, leading a group, caring for the hurting, or passing out food to the homeless. “Abide in me and you will bear much fruit,” Jesus said (John 15:5).
Jesus Christ is our resource. His kingdom is what we need — that’s where we and those we minister to can say, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…”
Ministry Begins with Rest
We teach pastors, ministry leaders, and caregivers that “Ministry Begins with Rest.” Do you believe this? Many of us leaders and caregivers act like we don’t believe in that the Sabbath rest of Hebrews 4 does indeed remain for us. So we work till we’re exhausted and only rest when we have too. Eventually we burn out in a depression or blow out with a moral failing.
Soul Shepherding invests in pastors and leaders to prevent ministry collapse, as well as to rehabilitate those who have fallen or become depleted.