09 March 2006

Today I spent most of the day studying and preparing for this Sunday's teaching from First Peter 1:22-25. I thank God for the opportunity to be the interim pastor-teacher at Ogden Church here in Adrian, Michigan.

The reason so many pastors download sermons from the Internet or copy them from books is because their flock literally doesn't give them the time they need to study and prepare to teach God's WORD. And so I am very thankful to the leadership at Ogden Church for giving me the time needed to do this each week – and for not making me feel like I should spend the 12-20 hours a week I put into this (depending on the week and how many times I need to share from the WORD) doing something else they've labeled as "more important."

Nothing is more important. When a pastor-teacher studies and prepares to feed the flock, it is their 'spiritual act of worship', it is their commitment to 'seeking first the Kingdom of God', knowing that all the other pastoral duties, all the other shepherding responsibilities on the plate of their life will be "added unto them ... and unto to the flock as well.'"

When a shepherd isn't "released" to do this primary work ... when a shepherd isn't given the time they needs to prepare to feed the flock, the flock is set up for failure as believers.

Is the shepherd of a flock the only one who can effectively teach them? Of course not. But they will be the one who sets the pace, creates the tone, and the one who God most often uses in a public way to open the eyes of the hearts to hear God ... so they can dialogue with God ... so they can partner with God ... so they can live the "with-God" life consistently and with passion.

I'm just a guy, a regular person ... no different than the rest of the folks at Ogden Church. But to study and teach God's WORD to the people I am shepherding ... this is how God has wired me, gifted me, and called me. To use God's WORD to feed, guard and ground His flock – this is the joy, the privilege and the glad responsibility God has asked me to live into.

And God hasn't asked me to do this to make me look good. God knows that for that to happen it would take more than this! Rather, God has made this request of me; so that as I remain diligent to do what I've been asked to do, the flock at Ogden Church might have the blessed opportunity to become more fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Good night and Godspeed.



1 comment:

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