A question that has been tugging at my heart for the last few months has been, ‘where have all the shepherds gone?’ or to translate, ‘where have all the pastors gone?’
Every week I seem to meet someone who has either stopped going to church or become disillusioned with their church or denomination. The biggest reason most of the time is because of the way a leader or pastor has treated someone.
Normally I’d be skeptical, but having seen this kind of treatment up close and even experienced some of it myself it makes me wonder have we lost the art of pastoring?
Every month I get a ton of mailers & emails telling me about the next leadership conference that is a must to grow your church, finance your church, lead your staff and start your next campus. However, I can’t even remember a conference that would talk about being a pastor.
When I read my bible, I hear the words of Jesus to His disciples, I hear the words of Paul to the churches, I hear Peter, James & John through their letters and what I hear is the heart of a shepherd. People who realize that leadership is important, but pastoring (or shepherding) is essential. Just think about the parable of the lost sheep for one moment. I mean, how many leaders and pastors today would leave the 99 to go after the 1?
I have a feeling that in trying to grow the church, we have focused so much on becoming a good leader that we have stopped training pastors. Those ones that have drifted are left in the wilderness and we have focused our resources, time, energy and finances on the 99.
I believe it is time for a return of pastoring, once we learn how to pastor, then we can learn how to lead!