Someone recently asked how I like supervising compared to pastoring. Without thinking, I said, “I like shepherds more than sheep.” My friend laughed, saying, “It’s not easy to love sheep.”

Later that day, I felt two things concurrently. On one hand, I genuinely do love shepherds. Caring for pastors and leaders brings me great joy. Leaders throughout our District love Jesus with their whole hearts and love the communities in which God places them. They lean into learning and growing and working together for the kingdom. It is a privilege to serve you.

However, God called me out on my little remark about loving shepherds more than the sheep. And you know why? Because He loves His sheep so much. Yes, He loves shepherds equally, but sometimes we forget how much He loves His creation. He poured Himself out for them. He gave everything for them. As pastors and leaders, we must remind ourselves of two things: one, that we are sheep before we are shepherds, and two, that our love for God’s sheep flows out of His love for them.

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. —Matt. 9:36, NKJV

We are sheep. Even after becoming shepherds, we are still sheep. We never cease to be a follower of Jesus. At the core of who we are, our identity is found not in what we produce for God as shepherds but in whom we are becoming as sheep, constantly learning to hear his voice and follow his word.

We love sheep. Yes, this statement is aspirational at times. Sometimes, it is hard to love the sheep. But that is why we must stay close to Jesus as the Chief Shepherd. His love for His sheep will energize our love for those we serve. So, when your love for sheep wanes, don’t try to muster it up; go to the Shepherd, and let Him remind you how much He loves the sheep, as He reminded me a few days ago.

of The Foursquare Church