A Shepherd and His Dog

Tim Challies | 9/22/2019 | Staff
tiana_101 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://www.challies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/florian-weichelt-_qwpbm0-BrQ-unsplash.jpg

I’ve mentioned before that Harold Senkbeil’s The Care of Souls has been a particularly meaningful and challenging book for me, and one I’d commend to every pastor or elder. Today I’d like to share a brief excerpt in which he so aptly describes the relationship between a pastor and his church.

In the old days when I was young, dairy herds were comparatively small. On diversified farms like ours, cows would be let out to graze in pasture between milkings. A disciplined dog was a great asset in rounding them up and bringing them in. I say disciplined because it was essential for good milk production that the cows not be harried or hurried, but merely guided twice a day along the path toward the barn, where they would be secured in their stalls for the milking routine. The natural instinct of the dog to snap and attack had to be captive to the will of the dairyman. This took some training, but with practice it could be done. When that happened, the partnership between man and beast was beautiful to behold. They worked in tandem as one unit. This partnership, it seems to me, illustrates the desired relationship between pastors and the Lord they serve.

Years - Illustration - Dairy - Industry - Farming

In more recent years I’ve come across an even better illustration; it comes not from the dairy industry, but sheep farming. Some years ago while traveling in Great Britain I watched a televised sheepdog competition, a contest testing the ability of shepherds and their dogs to guide a small flock of sheep through a maze. It astonished me to see how closely the dogs worked in sync with their shepherd/masters, deftly guiding those unruly sheep toward the intended goal no matter how intent they were to run off in all directions at once.

With that scene in...
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