Christians sometimes see pastors and church leaders as people who have “arrived” spiritually.  Pastors and leaders sometimes see themselves that way, as a step above the people they minister to.  Sometimes they forget they are no different than those under their care.  We also need the same nourishment and support that our people need.  If we don’t see our need and takes steps to meet it, we are setting ourselves up for failure and we will miss out on God’s “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Before we became shepherds, we were sheep in need of feeding, protection and guidance.  After we become shepherds, we still remain sheep.  Life is hard and draining, and ministry makes it more that way.  Our people need a shepherd to care for them, but so do we.  We are to feed others, but we also need to eat.  We lead our sheep, but we need guidance ourselves.  We protect our people, but where do we go for protection?

Pride is one of the greatest weapons Satan has against pastors and church leaders.  We feel we are important and special because God, in His grace, has gifted and used us for His glory.  We start taking credit for what He has done and is doing.  We put ourselves on a higher plain than our people and believe them when they say how special and wonderful we are.  We take the credit for God’s work in their lives and in our church.  That is a terrible thing to do!  We need shepherding as much as our people need it.  But where are we to turn for shepherding help for us?  I’ll name three sources God provides for us.

Jesus.  We are under shepherds, but Jesus is the Great Shepherd of us all (John 10:11-14; 1 Peter 5:2).  We must develop a good, close relationship with Jesus, spending time with Him every day in Bible study, prayer and worship.  We must never forget that we still need Him as our shepherd.  We must come to Him and depend on Him the way we tell our people to do.  We must never be too busy or too self-sufficient to daily kneel before the throne of grace, spending time with the Redeemer of our souls.

Mate.  God created marriage to “fill up our empty spaces” (Genesis 2:18-22).  That’s why He created men and women so different.  Together we make a whole.  We need each other.  God provides special mates for pastors and church leaders who can help, support, encourage and walk with us through life and ministry.  Make time with your mate a top priority.  They are a valuable resource God has provided. Share your joys and sorrows with them.  Listen to them.  Pray and worship together.   Make sure you continually tap into their love, wisdom, insight and support.

Other pastors and leaders.  Too often pastors see other pastors as competition for church members.  We compare ourselves with other pastors and leaders instead of finding support and encouragement from them.  Paul had Luke and Silas with him throughout His ministry.  He mentored Timothy and Titus.  We also need mature pastors to walk alongside us and younger pastors to mentor.  Who can better know and understand what we face than another pastor?  The New Testament church was led by “elders” – always in the plural, never just one singular leader.  We need each other to share our joys and burdens, confess our sins, lift up and encourage, warn and guide us as well as love and support us.

Remember, even though we are shepherds, we are still sheep.  We were sheep before we were shepherds and we will be sheep after we become shepherds.  The wolf likes to separate a sheep from the flock so he can devour it.  If he can get a pastor, he can harm the whole church.  Don’t let that happen.  Don’t be a lone sheep.  Paul knew he couldn’t do ministry alone (2 Timothy 2:1-2) and neither can we.

2 Timothy 2:1-2 “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Who has God put in your life to help shepherd and walk with you?  Do you spend quality time meeting their needs and letting them meet yours?


I have spoken to some churches and pastors’ conferences and training in India on Zoom.  It has been a privilege and a blessing to me.  If I could help your group in this way email me at


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling)

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