The Heart of a Shepherd
Every year my wife and I try to attend the Walworth County Fair. This year was no exception. Our first stop is normally the livestock barns. We like to stroll through the barns looking at all the various farm animals and observing those that care for them. As we walked through the sheep barn this year, we happened to arrive the morning before judging was to take place. We watched as young 4H students washed and prepared their sheep for judging. We noticed first of all how stubborn sheep can be, but we also took note of how much the “shepherds” cared for their sheep.
The ministry of Barnabas International is much like that of shepherding sheep. The sheep that we care for are scattered all around the world and we continue to see sheep in great need.
What makes a good shepherd is not the fact that they carry a rod and a staff…but that their hearts are focused on their sheep. All through Scripture we can read about the themes of shepherd and sheep.
A shepherd has the responsibility of knowing his sheep well…so that he can respond to their various needs. As Barnabas staff travel the world, we have the privilege of getting close to those we serve. We seek to know and understand their spiritual and emotional needs…while at the same time…responding to those needs. Sometimes we find that the condition of the flock is not so good and it is our joy to nurture and care for the souls of God’s people.
We always have the opportunity to feed the sheep we serve. One of our values in Barnabas is that we are “Word Saturated” shepherds. This means that we want our lives to be based on the truth of God’s Word and we want to provide the life giving power of the Word to a hungry flock.
Sheep also need to be protected. We count it a joy to provide spiritual protection for global servants around the world. We seek to alert the sheep to the spiritual traps that surround them on a daily basis. More and more these days missionaries are being targeted for their stance for Christ…and they need shepherds to pray and care for them as they seek to serve their Chief Shepherd. Please continue to pray for our Barnabas shepherds as they ministry to God’s flock around the world.