It’s been a few weeks! Anne and I are starting to produce some podcasts and felt that was the best format for bringing out these clichés not to worry though we will post summaries here in the blog.
Podcast Link: https://castbox.fm/app/castbox/player/id2800003/id258442224?v=8.22.0&autoplay=0%22%20frameborder=%220%22%20width=%22100%%22%20height=%22500%22%3E%3C/iframe
Christian clichés are commonly believed have truths that cause more harm than good. Often they have their root in a perceived good, like not letting people feel ashamed, helping people feel sure in their salvation.. etc but their ultimate effect is corrosive.
For a further description of what Christian clichés are and why they are important to dismantle please take a look at the post here: https://revivalinjesusway.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/series-against-common-christian-cliches/
Cliché One: We are the Sheep and the Pastor is the Shepherd
PodCast Link: https://castbox.fm/episode/Cliche-One%3A-We-are-the-sheep-and-the-pastor-is-the-shepherd.-id2800003-id255342052?country=us
This cliché is not said outloud too much but is often discovered after asking a few questions to a pastor or typical church member. The idea is that the pastor is responsible for leading the congregation, providing good doctrine, managing spiritual growth and in general being the human in charge of his church members in all spiritual areas.
There are some verses that do describe a shepherd/sheep relationship between leadership in the church. Some evidence of this:
- Jesus often describes Himself as the good shepherd.
- Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep. (John 21:15)
- Pastor epistles like 1-2 Titus and 1-2 Timothy describe how leaders should care for their congregation.
We are called to maturity this means growing up to be like Jesus, sheep don’t ever reach a growth point where they evolve into shepherds. Some evidence that maturity is expected:
- In Luke 6:40 Jesus says a disciple is meant to become like his teacher, when maturity is reached Christians should be like Jesus.
- The writer of Hebrews writes the Jewish Christians in anguish and disappointment because so many of them are still so immature in the faith. They should be teachers but they still need to relearn the basics. (Hebrews 5:12)
- When Paul describes the role of spiritual gifts and leadership to the Ephesian Church he states their whole purpose from Jesus is to prep the Christians for the work of ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
While there is some evidence that Pastors should be showing shepherd like love and care for their congregation this is by no means their primary calling. Christians are meant to grow and become kingdom workers.