I cannot state enough times or emphatically enough how much I am blown away with Jeremiah being the reading in the Daily Office at the time we are in culturally. These reminders are stark. I am also reminded of my own struggle as a pastor.
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. (Jer. 23:1-4, NIV)
I then noticed a personal note I had put into my Bible software program and I was glad I had dated it. I remember precisely the struggle I was in… and I was brutally honest. This I share from a very personal struggle in a time that led to the deep change on my journey to the place where I now find myself.
I am not a good shepherd. I’m not a good leader. I’m not a good… ANYTHING.
I see “leaders” destroying the American church… but what am I? I’m an ego-driven, pride-inflated guy who wants attention. I can’t pastor. I can’t shepherd.
I’ve led the church to a place where I think the Lord wants, but I’m so dissatisfied at this point. I have some deeper longing… but I don’t know if it’s selfishness or something the LORD actually wants.
But we need SHEPHERDS in the American church again! We need those who have a heart to lead people to quiet waters and allow them to hear the voice of the Lord. I long to do this. I’m not doing it very well, though.
I am thankful I wrote that note and dated it. It is a reminder of the faithfulness of God… and of his dealing with the American church that is still happening.