The Glue To Community
On a Dr. Phil Show recently there were women talking about today’s woman who said they need a “village”, their word for community. Years ago one lived near parents, near to the place of their birth, in the town or community that they were raised, around people they have known most of their lives. No necessarily so today.
Today’s generation is more transient, moving five to ten times during their adult lives, changing jobs, not staying in one career, thus creating a need to continually make new friends while hoping to stay in touch with old ones, thus the social media craze of My Space, Face Book, texting, twittering, and blogging.
What was interesting was listening to one young woman tell who comprised her village since parents and family did not live close by her: Day Care Center attendant, Public School Teacher, baby sitter, friends also with children, etc. I stopped to think, “How about the Church?” As a kid, the church was central to my family’s social life as well as spiritual life. What has happened to create this detachment as part of an American’s life?
In terms of the “five fold”, if a pastor is an evangelist by passion, or a teacher by gifting, or a prophet, or acting as an apostle as Senior Pastor, the passion, calling, and influence of a “shepherd” is missing. Mega-churches don’t have enough staff to facilitate their large numbers individually. The small community pastor who was a part of everyone’s life seems to be a phase of bygone days.
The Church needs their shepherds to bring the flock together, take care of the flock, lead the flock, allow the flock to graze, grow, and give. I’ve gone to a church where I felt I had to call during “office hours” to get to the pastor, and felt guilty if it was in the evening when I knew he needed to be with his family. Shepherding is a tough “calling”, because availability is a key to their service, yet it is one of the most fulfilling because of the relationships that are built for life. “Caring” is central to the “calling”, and caring becomes reciprical.
If you are fortunate enough to have a pastor, elder, leader, of fellow believer whose passion is being a “shepherd”, honor them, respect them, and take “care” of them too! You are fortunate! You know how shepherds keep the flock, village, community together. The Church needs the shepherd in the five fold ministry.