Shepherding Backwards

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." John 10:11-15
Unfortunately, today's corporate church model has the biblical shepherding concept completely backwards. Under today's corporate church model, the needs of the shepherd and the institution come first and always supersede the needs of the sheep. 

Under today's corporate church model, the sheep meet the needs of the shepherd and the entire corporate entity first, and then, budget permitting, the needs of the sheep can be addressed. And to that extent, the needs of many people in the church body go unmet. And that’s exactly what the Apostle Paul referred to as a "burden" on the church. 

Under today's corporate church model, many people (both Christian and non-Christian) view the church no differently than any other secular corporate business, with the pastor acting as CEO - in competition with other churches he works to grow the business and make his way up the financial corporate ladder. And to that extent, many lost souls want nothing to do with the "church," while thousands continue to leave the church every year, sighting the corporate model as being more concerned with maintaining its existence and image than helping the needy members of the body of Christ and the community. And that's exactly what the Apostle Paul referred to as a "hindrance" to the gospel. 

No amount of justification can dismiss these two grievous realities or the tragic negative effects they continue to have on the gospel and body of Christ today. And that's why the Apostle Paul went so far as to say that he would rather die than be seen by any man as personally benefiting financially as a paid minister of the gospel of Christ - and also why there is NO evidence in the New Testament of today's corporate church model. 

Warning: All who financially benefit on the backs of the flocks - take heed to the Apostle Paul's scriptural words and examples and also the following passage from God's prophet Ezekiel:
Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says  Yahweh, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been FEEDING THEMSELVES! Should not the shepherds FEED THE FLOCK? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have DOMINATED THEM. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’” Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: “As I live,” declares Yahweh, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did NOT search for My flock, but rather the shepherds FED THEMSELVES and did NOT feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Behold, I am AGAINST the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will NOT feed themselves anymore, but I WILL DELIVER MY FLOCK FROM THEIR MOUTH, so that they will NOT be food for them...”’ "...I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Yahweh. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; BUT THE FAT AND THE STRONG I WILL DESTROY. I WILL FEED THEM WITH JUDGMENT. Ezekiel 34:1-10,15-16 

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Son of Man

Son of Man