Three Things Every Pastor Needs
Outside of Bethlehem are rolling hills, where, for thousands of years, sheep and shepherds have trod.
It was on these hills that angelic hosts announced to lowly shepherds that Jesus – the Christ – was born.
It was also on these hills that a ruddy shepherd boy named David received a prophetic word and a fresh anointing that would propel him to one day be Israel’s King.
It is significant to realize that shepherds have always held a prominent place in God’s covenant relationship with mankind, from the patriarchs of the Old Covenant to the pastors in the New Covenant.
I am, by virtue of God’s calling on my life, a shepherd. Being a pastor is not just what I do; it is part of who I am. After twenty years of being a shepherd of people, I can say this with certainty: “Shepherds need shepherds as much as sheep need shepherds.”
One dark night, somewhere on the hills near Bethlehem, a young shepherd lifted his voice and began to sing a new song to The Lord. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David declared this ancient truth:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (Psalms 23:1-3 NKJV)
This familiar refrain reveals (at least) three things that every Pastor needs:
1. Pastors need green pastures.
Pastors sometimes become intent on feeding the sheep to the expense of their own spiritual sustenance.
Our spirits are strengthened and sustained by three elements: the Word, Worship, and Prayer. These things are not merely resources from which pastors draw sermon material, they are sources of life for the person wearing the pastoral mantle.
2. Pastors need still waters.
One of my fiercest battles in pastoral ministry is my resistance to fully submit to the principle of the Sabbath. I believe in it; but I often operate outside of the safety of it’s wisdom.
Every pastor needs rhythms of rest. Because we are in the people-business, pastors are always in high demand. But we often lack the faith to trust God more than our own efforts to take care His people.
Burnout is almost never caused by over-serving; it is usually the result of under-receiving. We need to spend time resting by still waters, allowing the Holy Spirit to replenish, renew, and refresh us from the inside out.
3. Pastors need their souls to be continually restored.
You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a body. Three parts; one person. Why, then, should you only focus on the development of your spirit?
In order for Jesus – your Shepherd – to restore your soul, He must have access to the development and challenging of your mind, the disciplining of your will, and the permission to rule over, and bring peace to your emotions.
God loves His shepherds, and He desires for you to be encouraged, strengthened, anointed, and equipped to lead His people.
God has stirred me to provide pastors with green pastures, still waters, and an opportunity for their souls to be restored.
If you are a pastor or church leader, I invite you to join me at New Hope Worship Center, on April 11-14, for our Equip Conference. Details can be found at PastorDaleJenkins.com.
It’s true – sheep need shepherds.
But shepherds need shepherds, too.
I pray today for my fellow shepherds in pastoral ministry.
Lead us to green pastures.
Guide us to still waters.
Restore our souls.
Thank You, Jesus, for being a Shepherd to shepherds. Where You lead, I will follow.