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Feed the flock of God which is among you. If you are in the preaching ministry, God has given you a flock, a congregation, a people to minister to. Isn't that what your shepherd's ministry is all about...making a difference in the lives of other people?
God wants us to walk closer to Him and help others walk closer to Him. If our preaching ministry is done for any other reason (for glory, for position, for money), it is done with the wrong motivation and for the wrong reason.
That doesn't mean we can't make a living by way of the ministry God has called us to, but the money cannot be the underlying motivation or it is not Biblical and will not have the blessing of the Chief Shepherd.
What we do as ministers when we feed the flock, we must do in love and obedience to Him. We must also do it because it is fulfilling to our God given calling and purpose in life. And we must do it because it helps others.
Then we will be rewarded. 1 Peter 5:4 says, "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Ok, now that we have our motivation straight, let's talk about our sheep, our flock, our people. Who do we minister to?
Ultimately we minister to whoever will let us minister to them, but I put them into five major categories: the listener, the loud, the loyal, the laborer, and the leader.
The listener is the person who allows us to minister to them in word or deed and considers what we have to say. They may or may not respond but at least they are open to our ministry, so we must continue to plant seed. More on the listener later.
The loud is the person who is a resentful or a turned off listener and speaks out or acts out against the minister or the ministry. It could also be one who used to be loyal but is now disgruntled for one reason or another. We feed them milk if they will drink. More on the loud later.
The loyal are those who are full supporters of the ministry. Some call them members. They don't just listen, they believe and belong. We feed them the milk of the Word so they can grow. More on the loyal later.
The laborer takes their loyalty a little further by laboring to further the ministry vision and by making it their own. They work for the Lord through the ministry to which that they belong to. We feed them the meat of the Word. More on the laborer later.
The leader is the one who is a loyal laborer who now teaches others how to minister through their ministry. These are the mentors, the disciplers, the teachers who exemplify the Lord to others in word and deed. We feed them strong meat as they feed others milk. More on the leader later.
Most ministries have a mixture of all of these and should be moving the listeners through the process to eventually become leaders. That is our goal as we feed the flock of God who is among us.
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