February 7, 2014

For the Shepherds. For the Sheep.

Grug Crood

Pastor David Houtsma

(Any resemblance shared between Grug Crood and my Pastor, David Houtsma, is purely coincidental.  But, seriously???  That's awesome!  And, it only helps to reinforce my point in this blog!)

Have you watched The Croods?  I mean, ahem, have your kids watched The Croods?  My little boy received the DVD as a Christmas gift and we watched it as a family.  In the film, there's a great deal of teen rebellion from a know-it-all daughter, but our family doesn't mind using those issues as a teaching moment, so all in all, we like the movie.

I haven't seen it in a few weeks, but for some reason, I began thinking about it this morning.  I was thinking about how protective the dad, Grug, is in the story.  His family thinks of him as over-the-top, too strict, unreasonably overprotective...and they're right.  He's REALLY determined to see his family live, and succeed, and have a future.  And to the best of his knowledge, his family comprises the only humans remaining in the world.  However, his daughter meets a Guy.  No seriously, the kid's name is Guy.  Guy is creative and brave and adventurous and...does not have any family of his own to tend to.  Guy has the time and energy to help the Croods.  The Crood family (with the exception of Daddy Grug) celebrates Guy and they readily follow him into situations that are completely NEW to them.  In fact, the other members of the family are SO deeply enamored by Guy and his ways, that Grug begins to see himself as worthless.  He knows how to keep his family safe.  He knows how to protect and how to grow them as a team and how to sacrifice his own meal to see that the family continues.  However, the daily life-saving of his family doesn't leave time for him to create fashionable clothing, or fast-moving vehicles, or just to have a lot of fun.  He has a calling.  It is important.  Without him doing what he's called to do, his family will fail.  They will scatter.  They will never get to their own callings.

Grug is like a shepherding pastor, protecting and tending his flock of sheep.

It isn't his job to be insanely creative.  It isn't his job to discover new ways to dye sheep's wool or to knit a sweater with it.  And, it isn't because he's incapable of being creative.  He has priorities.

His job is leading and guiding.  His job is fighting off those who would steal his sheep to bring harm to them.  He has a calling.  It is important.  Without him doing what he's called to do, his family of faith will fail.  They will scatter.  They will never get to their own callings.

If you ARE a pastor, prioritize what God has specifically called you to.  If a passion burns within you as a vision for your flock, but you don't know how to do it, it isn't YOURS to do.  Find the sheep/the member of your congregation who can be a team player.  Delegate those things that are important but that keep you from your focus.  

If you are a church member who sees a need in your church that you know how to fill, FILL IT!!!  If you're available, but not aware of the needs, ask your shepherd...or his wife.  They are undoubtedly a team with a vision and they know where you fit in the puzzle.

It is not a pastor's heart to micro-manage his people.  It's not his plan to direct your every step.  There is freedom in knowing the Lord, and there is freedom to make Him known.  Your pastor is there to shepherd you.  With shepherding comes guidance, protection, food and drink, and above all, Love.  Allow your pastor to love and guide you.  Seek wisdom and then heed it.  Follow through.  Serve in the capacity of your talents.  Help that vision to grow so that more and more lost sheep make it to their callings as well.

Today's Prayer:
Father, thank you for my pastor and for those who have pastored me throughout my life.  Thank you that you've placed leaders around me who have led well, families who have honored you and taught me how to lead, yet also how to serve.  Keep me mindful of your vision, your purpose for my pastor and his wife, and for the future of our church.  Help me to observe and act on the details that I know I can support, repair or maintain within our church family.  Thank you for giving me a heart that loves to help.  Help all of our pastors to be fully aware of their specific callings, giftings and anointings, and empower them to see those things through, whether by their own hands, or to know how and which things to delegate to those who have the time and resources to complete it.  Your joy is our strength and we are humbled to be able to serve you in our local churches, as we welcome your sheep into our lives.  Amen.

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