The Shepherd and the Flock Essay

Submitted By tvanprooyen2
Words: 707
Pages: 3

The Shepherd and the Flock The belief that we are made in the image of God is a crucial part of the Christian faith. It impacts not only how we view ourselves, but how we view others. It affects how you treat people and how you treat yourselves. Being the image-bearers of God affects any profession that a Christian might occupy, but I think it impacts the pastoral field the most. Pastors are charged with the job of overseeing a congregation like a shepherd would his flock. A shepherd must protect and nurture his sheep, keeping them healthy. In terms of pastoral work, a pastor is charged with the responsibility of keeping his congregation safe from the devil while nurturing them towards stronger faith. Pastors must understand that they represent God, while also realizing that their “flock” also bears God’s image.
So, what does it mean to be made in the image of God? In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” Most Christians have no idea what this means. We can often feel like this makes us our own godss. But the truth is, “… you are not God. But you are godlike.” (Staub 2013) This means we share some of God’s attributes, but not all of them. For instance, we are not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent. However, we do, “…fully reflect God's creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.” (Staub 2013)
If humanity reflects these godlike capacities, then it changes how a pastor treats the people in his congregation. Pastors are charged to, “proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:2) These things cannot be done without understanding that each person reflects characteristics of God. God loves them, and so should a pastor. Poimen is the Greek word for pastor. Its literal translation is shepherd. Shepherds are a beautiful example of how a pastor should care for people. Imagine a shepherd that is caring for a flock of 100 sheep. If one of the 100 sheep wandered away from the rest of the flock, the shepherd would leave the rest of the 99 to find the one. He would battle animals, confront dangers, and travel great distances just to rescue this one sheep and bring him back. So, how does this correlate to a pastor’s duties? The beauty of just one human bearing God’s image should be enough for a pastor to travel to the ends of the earth in order to rescue and protect this person. A pastor should see that, as an ambassador for Christ, he should be willing to go where no one else is to rescue one “sheep”. Jesus did not shy away from