Pastors are susceptible to all kinds of dangers as we struggle with sin and battle constant attacks from the enemy. This danger is a bit more subtle. It can be hidden in the midst of so many good, faithful, and fruitful shepherding tasks. It is so sneaky that a pastor can fall into its clutches several times without even realizing he has done so. The danger is this…
“Our shepherding efforts reveal we favor some sheep over others.”
Pastors, it happens. It happens intentionally. It happens accidentally. It just happens. Although this danger is inevitable, we must do all we can to protect ourselves from favoring others simply because we receive more encouragement or affirmation from them. To aid us in this task, I submit to you this excellent counsel by Charles Bridges from the Christian Ministry:
“We must be the pastors of the whole flock, not of a select few; not indulging ourselves with the most hopeful and interesting, but labouring for those, whose urgent need cries loudly for our instruction–like a good shepherd–bestowing our primary attention upon the lost sheep. In detail–we shall often have much to bear from their ignorance and weakness; sometimes also from their impertinence and unreasonable demands…The meanest of our people must have his full share of our consideration.”
Now, if you will excuse me…I am going to call and visit some of God’s sheep entursted to my care whom I have neglected as I have favored others.