Nurturing: Indoctrinating or Serving?

 What Pastoring/Shepherding Is/Ain't?

John WesleyMartin LutherOver the years the Church has tried to indoctrinate their new saints into their religious tenants of faith rather than nurture their growth in Jesus.  “New Believers Classes”, “New Members Classes” often reflect this philosophy.  When attending a Lutheran Church, one learns about Luther and his beliefs. When attending a Methodist Church one can not help but learn about Wesley and his Tenants of Faith.  In the Church of the Brethren one learns of Alexander Mack and the Anabaptists.  The Roman Catholic Church has built a whole parochial school system to indoctrinate their youth.  The Greek Orthodox Church not only teaches doctrine, but  the Greek language and Greek culture.  Rather than learning about Jesus, one learns about what makes that Church group, sect, or denomination different from other Christian groups.

Where does the nurturing in the likeness of Christ Jesus come in?  In Discipleship Training Courses?  Sunday School Material?  Children’s Church Programs?  Vacation Bible Schools? 

Before knowing what Pastoring/Shepherding is, let’s look at what a Pastor/Shepherd is not:

… a professional Christian, meaning a paid position, a career.

… a person who has an “inside tract” on hearing and believing God that is far above the ones that he/she is nurturing.

… a controller over his sheep, but a servant.

A Pastor/Shepherd is:

… person, like you and me, who has a passion and a point of view to nurture others in the likeness of Christ. 

… person who teaches others to read the Bible for themselves, while teaching others to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to be their teacher.

… servant, teaching service by not only being “hearers of the Word, but doers”.  Not only are their words important, but their life style speak louder than their words.

… person who day to day models the living out their daily routines and existence through Jesus.