Twice a year there is a herd of sheep that pass through Sweet – going north in the spring and south in the fall. At the head of this herd is a mule or a donkey tha t is “trail broke” – meaning that he has a history of following the shepherd.
In addition to follow the shepherd, the donkey also has the job of watching out for danger and protecting the sheep herd from wolves, coyotes and other critters.
Unlike a lot of pastors who see themselves as the ‘shepherd’ – a thought that comes from Jesus’ comments to Peter in John as well as the fact that the English word ‘pastor’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘shepherd’ – I see the role of the pastor as more like that of the lead jackass.
Just like the jackass that leads the sheep herds, the pastor needs to be “trail broke” – having a proven history of following the lead Shepherd, Jesus Christ, no matter what. He watches the movement of the Holy Spirit and call people to step up and run with the Wind.
The pastor is also one who watches out for trouble and warns the ‘herd’ – i.e. the church – when danger is near. He calls people together so that they may withstand the attacks of the evil one as a community of love and reconciliation.
As I write this, I am in the middle of a life transition that will impact my life and my family’s life forever…
Brian, the senior pastor of the Payette River Vineyard, has stepped down at the leading of the Holy Spirit. God has called him on to new and exciting things that will bless him and his family.
This means that our church is now at a crossroad – What do we do? Have we, as a church body, completed the task before us? Or do we have more to do in our small valley? If so, who leads us? Who becomes our pastor?
After much prayer and time before God, Emily and I came before the church yesterday and shared our heart and passions with them. We asked for their input and thoughts about receiving us as senior pastors.
“Would they follow this jackass as he follows the Shepherd?”
The question is still out there…only God knows the answer.
(Unofficially though… I have a good guess as to what it will be….) 😉