HOW TO FEED SHEEP (Shepherds 6)
God’s first responsibility for shepherds and church leaders is to feed His sheep. We eat several times a day, every day. We need God’s word every day, throughout the day as well. We need to teach the Bible to our people. That is a very important part of the duty of all pastors. Jesus commanded His disciples to “Feed My sheep” in John 21:15-17. He said it three times because it was so important. That is one of the most important duties of pastors and leaders. It is important because it is the only way people will grow and God’s Word spread.
Feeding the sheep means to teach them God’s Word. Some pastors are so preoccupied with other things that they don’t take time to prepare a sermon. When they stand to speak on Sunday, they read a few Bible verses, close their Bible and talk to the people. They tell the people the same thing they have already told them before. The people only hear their words, not words from the Bible. Is that feeding the sheep?
How many of you have a wife who is a good cook? She makes food you like to eat? What if you came home hungry and wanted to eat, but she didn’t make any food? What if she tells you she was too busy and didn’t have time to make food. But she says, “Here is some old food from yesterday, you can eat it.” Then the next meal she does the same thing, and the meal after that. Would you like that? Why not? That’s not a good way to feed you, is it? That’s not a good way to feed your people either.
You need to keep studying the Bible so you have something fresh to feed your people. If not, they won’t learn and they won’t grow. When your wife feeds you, she plans ahead what she is going to make for you. She puts in a lot of work so it is fresh and nourishing. She makes it so it tastes good and gives you good health. That’s what you need to do when you feed your people. When Paul preached, he would take a passage of scripture and explain it to the people. Then he would apply it to their life. Ezra did the same thing.
You need to start early in the week to prepare your sermon. Pick a book you would like to teach the people and start studying it. Read the first verse and think about it. Pray and ask God to help you understand what it means. You can look up references in your Bible or use a commentary. Write down what God is teaching you. Then pray and ask God to show you how this applies to your life. Write that down as well. When you are done with one verse go on to the next verse and do the same thing. Then when Sunday comes you use your notes to teach the people what the first verse means. You tell them how it applies to them. You can use stories or examples from the Bible or life to explain it. Then you do the same with the next verse.
Don’t do too many verses in a sermon. It is better to do a few verses well than try to do too many. The next week you do the same thing with the next verses. In this way they will be learning God’s Word. You will be teaching God’s words, not just your words. The people will learn new truths, not just the same thing over and over. It will give them something to think about and practice during the week. They will grow spiritually. When you do this, you will be feeding your people. They will grow and become more like Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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