Monday, June 15, 2009

We are Sheeple

We had a wonderful Friday night service with the speaker being one of our own (and my friend), Darla. She had a lot of great things to say and I wanted to share from the notes that I took (mainly because I seem to end up getting the pages of my books ripped out lately but I also thought some of you may enjoy what she said).

"Survival of the Sheep"

What most people think a pastor is:
-a social convener (sp?) planning spaghetti suppers and fishing trips
- a hander-outter of freebies. (yes, that is a totally made-up word) (Pastors make sure we are taken care of but it is not his job to go around and buy your groceries.)
-a pastor is someone who is just supposed to pray for your blessings ( "God, "so-and-so" came to church today so please bless them") (Pasotrs pray for you but not just so you will be blessed and happy)
-a comforter of people (ues, they comfort but that is not really their job)
-an administrator ("Pastor, I have a need; please start a prayer chain.") (Pastors need to focus on other things which means they don't need to be playing secretary or anything else similar)

Pastors do do these above metioned things BUT they are not a part of his office/not his job and people will get upset that the pastor doesn't do these things and will leave churches offended because 'Pastor wasn't taking care of ME'.

God's definition of a pastor:

1Peter 5:2-3 says
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1. A pastor shouldn't ask you to do anything that he wouldn't do.

-I know our pastor won't ask us to do things he has not done or is not willing to do himself and he is willing to do so much for us; it's a wonder the man ever sleeps!

2. A pastor is to equip the saints.

3. A pastor is to protect. (Ezek 34:7-16)

4. A pastor is to be a ruler

({Gasp!} Did I just type that?! We are to be ruled by someone?! It's not just about us and our needs and how someone can make us feel better about ourselves? We actually have to do what we are told and not just whatever we deem acceptable for us to comply with?! Wow! People will bend over backwards to do what their hockey coach tells them, get up at 4 AM to be at practice on time, take a ballet class to boost their balance for crying out loud but heaven forbid a pastor tells them to do something or worse yet, actually expect them to be at service!)

-In 2 Sam 5:2 it says, "And the Lord said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.' "
-So a shepherd is to rule his sheep.
-How many times as parents do we say "Because I said so!"? so, why can't pastor say it. We shouldn't have to say, "I will think about it" or "I will pray about it" or "Let me get back to you on that". Would we allow our children to say those things to us? Not likely! So why do we think it is fine for us to respond to our pastors that way? We want our children to obey us the instant we tell them something but give them no example of us doing that very thing when our pastors want us to do something and then we complain because we don't know why we have such poorly behaved kids.

-We may benefit from god's plan but guess what? We are not the purpose of His plan. Shocked? Guess what? We need to come to the realization that it is NOT about us! Not even a little!

Ezek 36: 18-24, 37-38
-God restored honor to His name not for Israel but for Himself.

-The pastor's job then is not just to take care of the sheep but to lead the flock to restore honor back to the Lord (not to help them feel they are special and can do whatever they want and that God loves them SO much. No, we benefit from His plan, as I said above but, we are not the purpose!)

-We are to minister to God to bring His presence down.
Exodus 33:16
"How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
-Most of the things we have in the church you can get int eh world (lifecoaches, etc) so we are no different than the world if we don't have the presence of God to offer people. If we don't have that presence, our only difference is location.

*Sheep benefit from have a shepherd (pastor) in fact, their lives depend on it!
Mt 9:26 (When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. )

1. Sheep don't like to be enclosed in a tight environment. (We don't like rules)
*Society teaches us to be our own ruler, make our own decisions and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. That is not how God intended it.
*We learn to hate being controlled - even if it's for our own good.
*Most people would rather suffer in their own bad choices than be happy after beign told to do something that would make their lives easier!

(Why do some people even come to church? They don't want to worship God ("That's not who I am", who cares that the Bible tells you to right?) they don't want to let the Word change them. So why come? So they can feel morally superior because they go to church and sometimes not even on a regular basis.)

2. Sheep move away from shepherds/workers & dogs
*the wrod pastor gives to us should cause us to change.

3. Sheep have good longterm memory, especially for bad experiences. They will always remember to stay away fromthe dog that bit them.

*We are not different. We really remember the bad stuff and rarely the good stuff! (How horrible our husband is because one time he did such and such but forget about all those times he takes care of us and provides for us!)

*The final word is the Word of God - that 's the authority. go by his word and not your past experiences. The way it used to be is not the way it is!

4. If given a choice sheep prefer flat terrain as opposed to an incline.

*We need to be stretched to be coaxed out of our comfort zones.

5. If left in one place sheep will destroy their pasture.

*Pator will help/provoke you to move on or you will be destroyed in your faith - destroy what you have if you stay the same.

6. If sheep see other sheep run they run

*stir other people up and be stirred up yourself
*if you don't feel stirred up, it's pride.

7. Sheep will follow the older sheep

8. Sheep will follow other sheep even if it's a bad decision
*In Turkey a sheep tried going over a ravine and fell to his death. 400 other sheep watched him die and then followed him to his death)
*be careful who you follow and remember who is following you. (You are your childrens' example)

*generally we follow laws so why don't we follow a pastor's instruction? We don't break government laws because we don't want to pay the money but how much more do we lose spiritually if we don't obey pastor's (& therefore God's) instructions?

*It tells us right in Hebrews that it is unprofitable for us to disobey.

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