Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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A King or a Shepherd?

  • Jim Townsley
  • Aug 26, 2015
The story of Nimrod details the failure of the first kingdom. Nimrod was a grandson of Ham through Cush, and his name means “rebel.” He was a mighty tyrant in the sight of God, the first dictator. He was the founder of the Babylonian empire and the organizer of the enterprise that led to the construction of the tower of Babel. This first kingdom was a failure! A king reigning over a kingdom must have a godly spiritual leader if it is to be successful.
Consider the characteristics of a king:
  • A king reigns over a kingdom
  • The king is sovereign
  • A king has complete authority
  • His word is final
  • He has the power to take life
  • He has the power to judge
  • He answers to no one
Until Jesus returns and sits on the throne of David there will not be a righteous kingdom. Every kingdom is doomed to failure. God has given us a better plan to follow and it is the method of shepherding. Even in the Old Testament we find the shepherding model. Moses learned to be a shepherd and developed the heart of a shepherd while a fugitive in the Midian desert. God authorized Samuel to anoint David as king. Though David was a strong warrior he always had the heart of a shepherd.  In the New Testament we learn that Jesus is "The good Shepherd."
Sheep and lambs are mentioned almost three hundred and sixty times in the Bible. Shepherd is mentioned forty-five times where the Bible states that the Good Shepherd knows His sheep, loves them, feeds them, protects them, leads them, and they follow Him. Also, the Scripture states that He gives His life for them. The disciples were asked to follow His example of service as a shepherd. Peter was specifically told to feed His lambs. Every example of successful ministry in the New Testament follows the paradigm of a shepherd watching over his flock.
Every pastor should have the heart of a shepherd, not a king ruling over a kingdom. The word pastor (Bishop) literally means an overseer. A pastor should watch over the flock and care for its well-being. Furthermore, leaders of the church should learn follow the example of the pastor and become servants with a shepherd's heart. The sheep tend to stray and are vulnerable to attack without the careful watch of the shepherd. The sheep have little to offer the shepherd, but the shepherd recognizes it is his duty to care for God's flock.
The focus of a new church is to win the lost, but the next step is to feed the sheep. Healthy sheep will reproduce after their kind. Unhealthy sheep will need constant care from the shepherd. Building a strong church requires the pastor have a heart for the members, teach them the Word of God, and train them to serve with a heart for others. No matter how small or large a church may be, the shepherd model is still God's plan for today. Like David who had a heart for God, we also must have a heart for God and a heart for our church families.