Cultivating a Shepherd's Heart for Your Flock

God is calling you to love the individual sheep, not just the collective flock. (Pexels)

Last time we introduced the concept of connectedness as the goal of the local church for every believer (including restored dropout believers). We will look at the three cords of connectedness over the next three weeks.

The first of the three cords of connection is:

1. A heart for the pastor and vision for the [local] church.

It is imperative that every believer have a heart toward the pastor and the vision that God has for the local church. How do we know if that cord is there? This love in the believer's heart will be evidenced by the willingness to submit to the authority of the pastor in matters spiritual.

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Many Scriptures point out the importance of the believer holding the shepherd in high esteem, confidence, receiving his instruction (acting on it) and submitting with joy to his leadership.

This heart toward the pastor must be mutual—the pastor must have a true heart toward the believer. This doesn't mean a collection of believers—it means each and every believer individually. You can't love a collection of people. This is not the evidence of love of the pastor for the believer.

You can only love one person at a time. The reality of love toward the believer is clearly demonstrated by the life of Jesus—one person at a time. Jesus met the needs of each individual through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The result of such love by the pastor for the sheep is mutual—it draws out of believers the same love toward the pastor.

How does this cord become established in a believer's life? 

The answer involves the heart of man and only God can change the heart. It is God's responsibility to put into the heart of the believer this special love for the pastor and the focus (vision) of the local body. This first cord of connectivity is established by the Lord Himself in the heart of a believer to draw him to the local body where he fits best.

Action Tip

For your own part, do you have a heart for your pastor and support the vision of your church? For more depth on this, read Hunters of the Harvest, chapter 15.

Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry. He has been actively involved in the local church for more than 37 years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information, visit huntersoftheharvest.org.

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