“What is the difference between a shepherd and a sheepherder?”
My pastor is my shepherd. He follows the example of the Good Shepherd caring for His flock. Like the shepherds of the Middle East, he walks with me and talks with me. He knows me by name. He tends to my wounds. He leads me beside still waters. He feeds me the good stuff. He protects me from my enemies. He comes after me if I stray.
By contrast a harsh sheepherder yells at and berates his sheep.* He calls them names and yells insults at them. He has dogs to nip their heels. He forces them to do his will. He shoots the sick and injured. He waters them when it’s convenient for him. He lets them fend for themselves on overgrazed land or feeds them trashy feed. He treats them harshly. Sorry to say, there are sheepherders in pulpits today.
The sheep love a shepherd, but fear a sheepherder. What a difference love makes!! I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time serving the Lord under the leadership of a sheepherder, I need a shepherd.
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15.
*This is not to say that there aren’t excellent sheep farmers with impressively trained herding dogs, but the contrast is still there.
© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff