As I mentioned in my last update, Scripture has a lot to say in regards to church leadership and structure. For instance First Peter chapter 5, addresses the very fact that some are called to act as shepherds, proving to be examples to the flock. I must say that having had sheep as a kid I truly understand the cost that is involved in being a shepherd. The midnight noises that sheep make when a predator is around, or the constant baaahhhhing that tells of the next need. But ultimately sheep need three things. Security, safety and slop. A sheep will not lay down as the the psalmist says in Psalm 23, unless it is free of the worry of attack, both from within and without. Unity must be kept among the flock or many other issues will arise. Safety from outside attacks is just as important. It is interesting to think back to the first century church and that is the very challenge they faced. Attacks from outside and inside. Paul continually sent letters of encouragement and caution to some of these churches and encouraged them to take a stance against the heretical teachers and be warned of those looking to get in and devour those tender little ewes. Sheep, not being the smartest animal on the Ark also must be cautious when they lay down. If they get off balance they cannot use their feet to get right side up and will die as they suffocate themselves, or fry in the heat. These sheep need to know they will be fed and not poison. An element of trust must be present as well. Miss gadabout was a sheep who a farmer was pleased with and the two had a great relationship until she began to eat the grass on the "other side of the fence". Miss gadabout had eaten the entire perimeter of her pasture and so searched for a way out and eventually found it. The patient shepherd continually put her back in the pasture and began to notice that she was also teaching the other sheep to escape. Miss gadabout had to become lamb chops or risk losing the entire flock. The question for today is, "are you a miss/mr gadabout? Always looking for the bigger better deal. living contently until someone comes along with the latest craze. We all wander to a certain extent and yet God in His wisdom provided a design to deal with this. In my next post we'll expand on some of these things and explain what it has to do with the church, our leadership, and us. Until the next time.