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Pastors: Feed the Sheep!

My friend and pastor’s mentor Ron Pinkson (who authored Loving God in Front of People, Loving People in Front of God) offers rich wisdom to those he mentors. He recently shared one of his mentoring tips with me, and it’s just too good not to share. Enjoy Ron’s note. If you’re interested in more of these mentoring tips, let us know:

Mentoring Tip #20 (Feed the Sheep) My dear friend Pastor Ron Mehl, who was such a strong mentor in my life, and is now in heaven with Jesus, used to say to me all the time: “Beg, borrow, steal-do whatever you have to do to feed the sheep.”

He was being facetious, of course.  But I got it.  I would be in denominational leaders meetings with him, watching him work on his sermon for that weekend, grabbing any illustration that might pop up in that meeting and could be used for his congregation.  He was a human illustration vacuum cleaner (he told the best stories)…and a man deeply committed to prayer! The apostle Peter’s mentor told him the same thing: “Feed my sheep!”

There is nothing more important that you will do this week, for those God has called you to serve, than feed them the eternal truths God has placed in your heart.  It MUST be the top priority in your planning schedule.  So, here are some suggestions on how to feed the sheep as effectively as possible:

  • Make sure you are asking Jesus what his sheep need; he is THE Good Shepherd, the only One-and he knows what they need
  • Make sure sermon preparation IS the top priority in your schedule; if you let that slip everything else will start sliding with it
  • Be a human illustration vacuum cleaner; Jesus illustrated his messages from everyday life; people learn best and retain the most when they can connect truth with something they are familiar with
  • Study your sermon history and make sure you are feeding the sheep a balanced diet; without intentionality we all tend to gravitate toward our favorite subjects which can create unbalanced or undernourished sheep
  • Get help if you are weak at feeding the sheep; take a class, ask someone you admire to mentor you in preaching, read a few books…just don’t keep doing what you’re doing if it’s not getting the job done, if it’s not the BEST you can do
  • Find a way to find out if the sheep are being fed; do a survey, have people critique your messages, have your staff interview people… DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO FEED THE SHEEP!  God will bless you with fruitfulness and the congregation will bless you with affirmation.  What more could you ask for? Praying that you will feed Jesus’ sheep the best meal possible this weekend.