An overlooked picture of pastoral ministry


Sometimes we pastors lose sight of the full scope of our calling. We aren’t the CEO’s of religious businesses. We aren’t “running churches.” We aren’t just teachers, counselors, or spiritual guides.

We are also lion hunters.

Our biblical mandate is to “shepherd the flock of God” (1 Peter 5:2), but since we don’t live in an agricultural, sheep-herding culture we can forget that one of the core aspects of a shepherd’s job was to defend against predators.

This is why the famous shepherds of the Christmas story were “keeping watch over their flocks by night” (Luke 2:8). This is why David was confident to face Goliath: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it…” (1 Samuel 17:34-35).

We have people to love, a word to deliver, and spiritual enemies to engage. Let’s be faithful to these ends in our generation of pastoral ministry.

Let the image from this photo settle into your soul, reminding you of one of the central roles of your calling.

You are needed and you are loved!